Every year, each hannamachi (花街/geisha district) prepares a set of grand performance for public audiences. They are called Odori, which means dances. Odoris are similar to ballet or operas in the West because of the relation between the seniority of the geisha/maiko and their time in the spotlight.
These events began in Tokyo in 1872, four years after it became Japan’s capital. It marked the first time geishas performed in the public and continued onwards.
Their choreography is very detailed with slow and graceful moves. Every single move must be perfect, which makes the dance difficult. Despite the difficult nature of these dances, geikos and maikos compete for the honor of taking prominent roles in the performance.
Cherry blossom viewing event (花見)
“dance of fox”- a dance originating in the Edo Period Yoshiwara area in Tokyo
Kyoto Geisha Dances (some):
Gion Odori – Gion-Higashi Geisha
Kamogawa Odori – Pontocho Geisha
Kitano Odori – Kamishichiken Geisha
Tokyo Geisha Dances:
Azuma Odori – Shinbashi Geisha
Kagurazaka Odori – Kagurazaka Geisha
Asakusa Geisha Kumi-Odori – Asakusa Geisha