While I was in Japan for the Cherry Blossom season, I was lucky enough to attend a Geisha performance in the Gion district of Kyoto - thanks to my friend's foresight in booking tickets months in advance !
Although Geisha are famous all over the world, they usually only perform their arts at small private gatherings in the tea houses of Geisha districts - an exclusive world largely off limits to the public and to foreign tourists.
We booked in for a tea ceremony first, where we saw a Geisha and Maiko (apprentice) prepare the tea. We then entered the theatre to watch the show. Each performance has about eight scenes which depict aspects of Japanese life. Performances include dancing, singing and mini-dramas with an orchestra of Geisha playing traditional instruments. The performance lasts about an hour. The kimono and costumes were truly amazingly beautiful, as were the Geishas and their dancing, and it was very interesting to see the traditional arts being performed after having read so much about it in various books and novels. If you ever have the chance to visit one of these performances - I thoroughly recommend it !
Some more detailed information about the Miyako Odori can be found here: http://www.unmissablejapan.com/events/miyako-odori
Below are some Geisha paintings I have done in the past - all available as posters and prints: