Imperial to mark anniversary with traditional dances
Sunday 06 June 2010
The Imperial Hotel is to stage a rare traditional Japanese dance event that will incorporate
maiko from the ancient capital of Kyoto as well as geisha from Tokyo as part of its year-long 120th anniversary celebrations.
The display will take place in the hotel's Peacock Room from 5 pm on July 18 and will be followed by a dinner of French dishes and "kaiseki" Japanese cuisine.
Situated close to the moat of the Imperial Palace, the hotel is an institution in Tokyo and prides itself on providing the very highest levels of service at the same time as staying true to its traditions - which the hotel believes sets it aside from other luxury hotels that have opened their doors in Tokyo more recently. Down the years, The Imperial Hotel has hosted heads of state, royalty and stars of the stage, screen and music worlds.
The geiko and maiko - formally educated entertainers and dancers - who will be performing at the hotel are from Gion, the largest "hanamachi," or entertainment district, of Kyoto. They will be performing their signature dance, the Miyako Odori, which was created in 1872 to mark Kyoto hosting the Exhibition of Arts and Manufacturers. It has been staged every year for the last 140 years at Gion's Kaburenjo Theater.
The Tokyo geisha who will be appearing are from the Shimbashi district of the city, which can trace its roots back to 1854 and has since become one of the capital's most thriving entertainment districts.
The Shimbasho Embujo theater opened in 1925 as a venue for traditional dance and the local geisha first performed their most famous dance, the Azuma Odori, at the opening of the theatre.
The geiko and maiko of Gion will perform three dances, "Chiyo no Tomo," "Shakkyou" and "Gion Kouta." The first two are iconic "kyomai," or dances that are unique to Kyoto. The dancers from Shimbashi will perform "Seigaiha," "Kiyarikuzushi" and "Sawagi."
The event starts at 5 p.m. in the Peacock Room of the Main Building of the hotel, with the French-Japanese dinner service starting at 6:15 pm. The cost of the event is Y28,000 (€250.21) per person, all inclusive.
The Imperial Hotel, 1-1 Uchisaiwaicho, 1-chome, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8558. http://www.imperialhotel.co.jp/e/
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