"Miyagawa Ondo" Part 3 and Kyo Odori Changes

The geisha Fukunami of Miyagawa-cho performs in "Miyagawa Ondo," the finale of Kyo Odori
The geisha Fukunami of Miyagawa-cho performs in "Miyagawa Ondo," the finale of Kyo Odori

The middle section of "Miyagawa Ondo" begins when all the maiko exit and the stage lights dim, leaving the geisha alone on stage, illuminated mainly by spotlights and the red lanterns on either side of the stage, seen here behind Fukunami.  The geisha form two lines on either side of the stage and face each other as they dance. Since the stage is relatively dark during this section and the music quite subdued, I rarely photographed this portion of the dance.

There are two major changes in the 64th annual Kyo Odori here in 2013. The biggest is that the writer and director is new for the first time in fifty years, and Kyo Odori now has a female director for the first time. The former director, Yosukue Tanimura, has been succeeded by Sawako Kitabayashi. I don't know if it is coincidence or not, but Gion Kobu's Miyako Odori has a new producer this year as well.

The second change is that the colors of  the kimono the geiko wear during "Miyagawa Ondo" have been altered somewhat. The blue kimono are a deeper shade of blue, while the pale yellow have become almost an off-white. The pattern of flowers on the kimono have changed as well, but the black and silver obi have not.