One of most important events in the life of Miyagacho Hanamachi and its maiko is annual Kyo odori. Preparations start several months before the actual event - program, outfits, props, dances, backdrops etc. everything is being prepared for the grand event of Spring. This year's Kyo odori was special for several reasons - first of all, it was first performance of Miharu chan, who soon is to debut as minarai in Hanafusa okiya. Secondly, this was last Kyo odori for Kikutsuru san as Maiko; next spring we will see her as fully fledged geiko san.
This years performers :
Sr Maiko Kikutsuru
Sr Maiko Kikumaru
Jr Maiko Kikune
Jr Maiko Kikushino
Jr Maiko kikuyae
Shikomi Miharu(was allowed to perform as soon she will debut as minarai)
Before the odori, traditional tea ceremony was performed. Okasan Geiko Kikuyu was otemae and prepared the tea, while Maiko Kikuyae was ohikae and severved the guests with special treats and tea.
Here are photos from the 5th annual Kyo odori(created by Maiko Kikuyae):
Maiko walking towards their appointments along the Higashiyama Ku. Younger maiko walking behind the Senior ones. Everyone is hurrying...Hope fill their hearts of the evening as their mind anticipate fun games, interesting conversations and hopefully perfectly performed dances.
Maiko are gathered in the tatami room, arrived for their appointments, ready to perform...They fill the room with gazing eyes and dreaming minds as they present self written poems giving the mind images of the spring.
During the dance Maiko san hold sakura branches to represent beauty of the springtime.
The dressings of the senior and junior maiko are copis of rl Kyo odori wear of Miyagawacho maiko and geiko.
This kabuki play tells us a story that took place in Yoshiwara quarters during the Meiji era Japan. In one of the yukaku rooms, young women are talking about the amazing possibility of becoming high ranking courtesan. Would that bring them happyness?...
A fresh Oiran(high ranking courtesan) is preparing for the walk of her life that she wished for. She hoped this day would come since she entered the yukaku...
But it seems that this life is not proving to be a dream...
With fan of silver and red, maiko san of Hanafusa okiya enter the stage in their most formal outfits, worth more than a house in today's money. Their dance represent the story of maiko's thought and regrets before becoming full fledged geiko(geisha)
Long black hair is this dance called, or Kurokami, a dance performed by maiko in their formal stage before becoming geiko and by "fresh geiko". As this Kyo odori was last for Kikutsuru san as maiko, it was decided that she will perform this magnificent and magestic dance before the audience...
The dance that crowns the Kyo Odori is called Miyagawa ondo as is performed by every miyagawacho maiko who participated in the odori. Younger maiko san dance on the special platform at the back, while seniors dance in the front.
This is most traditional ending of the odori.