Friday, May 23, 2008

Miiiiyaaaakoooo OoodOOOriiiiiii

Hello again. Kendra Here. For those of you who want to play along, please read this entry's tittle in a kind of high pitched whine. That is what the opening line of the "Miyako Odori" always sounds like.

For a quick explanatory video, see this,

For those who want to read my rambling explanation...
The Miyako Odori (Dances of the Old Capital) is a public dance concert put on every year by the Geisha in the Gion district of Kyoto. There are 4 main Geisha districts in Kyoto and Gion is considered to be one of the best; particularly for producing amazing dancers. Usually you have to be part of the "inner circle" of rich, important clientelle to be invited into one of Gion's teahouses in order to see a real Geisha party. But, once a year from April1-30 they put on a public show at the Gion theatre.

Here is the garden that is part of the theatre experience. Only people with first-class tickets get to go in. I've been wanting to see this since I was 14, so I decided to go ahead and make this a big splurge and buy the expensive tickets. Well worth it!
The garden is known for its impressive weeping Sakura, although, it was past the peak of the Sakura season so this tree is not at its full bloom sadly.

After a stroll through the garden, you get to go see a tea ceremony by the Geisha.
Here the maiko-san (the standing one) is coming over to her siting spot. The Geisha sitting behind the table to making the tea. She only makes two cups per group, so only two people get tea actually made by her, but everyone gets a cup and a sweet cake. Oh, also you get to keep your plate as a keepsake!
Here is one of the rather frazzled helper ladies telling me to kindly go sit down.

So, of course you can't take pictures inside the theatre, so I don't have any pictures of the show. But, that video link up there to that video has actual footage. The theme of this year's show was the 1,000 anniversary of The Tale of Genji, by lady Murasaki Shikibu, considered by most people to be the world's first novel. And wouldn't you know's an angsty/romantic drama!
The book is getting a lot of face time this year because of the anniversary. The dances at this years Miyako Odori were based on scenes from the novel. The best one, Aaron and I agree, was the most dramatic one wherein two of the court ladies get into an argument over- get this- parking spaces for their carriages. Anywho, the one super mean lady gets all evil curse like and is so enraged at the other court lady that her malicious spirit creates a living ghost which then proceeds to attack the other woman and her ladies in waiting. The dances were so spooky and there was even strobe lights!

Here is a video I took of the tea ceremony.

Up next...our daring adventure along the abandoned railway tracks in Takarazuka!

Take care.

No comments: