"Miyako Odori" Dance Returns to Minamiza after 67 YearsPast Attire Reproduced
On February 15, "Gion Kobu Kabukai," or the preservation society for dance performance of the Gion Kobu district in Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, announced that it would create attire that imitates the kimono from former performances in the Minamiza Theatre and hold a collective dancers' performance in the kimono in April. The performance is the celebration of the "Miyako Odori" classical Japanese dance which will be held again at the Minamiza Theatre, located in the vicinity of the organization, after a hiatus of 67 years. Sixteen Geiko and Maiko, or Geisha and apprentice Geisha, will dance in the reproduced blue Kyo-Yuzen dyed kimono and newly produced red Nishijin brocade belts in the finale which also celebrates the new Emperor's accession.
Miyako Odori was first held in 1872 but was suspended during World War II. The venue of Gion Kobu Kaburenjo was seized by occupation forces in the postwar period (it was returned later) and converted to a dance hall and other facilities. Therefore, the Minamiza Theatre was used to hold the revival performances for three years until 1952. The coming performances at the Minamiza Theatre will be accompanied by earthquake-proofed reconstruction of the Kaburenjo.
The reproduced kimono's design is an auspicious clouds and snowflake-shaped pattern with flowering plants which has been redesigned into a modern style from the patterns of 1952. As usual, weeping cherry trees are drawn from top of the shoulder against a blue background, and auspicious clouds, as well as a pine, bamboo and plum motif which appears as a sign of celebration are also depicted around snowflake-shaped patterns throughout the hem. The belt is a newly designed "mallets and balance weights" on a red background with auspicious motifs which are believed to bring good luck. Both are designed and produced by Daimaru Kyoto, Kyo-Yuzen producers Tabata Senso Bijutsu Kenkyujo, or Tabata dyeing art laboratory, and OKAJU Co., Ltd., and the Nishijin textile producer Kawashima Selkon Textiles Co., Ltd., all located in Kyoto City.(Translated by Mie Hiuzon, Psyche et l’Amour, Inc.)