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'Kyo Odori' geisha dance performances in Kyoto postponed due to coronavirus

Geisha dancers are seen practicing for a "Kyo Odori" performance at the Miyagawacho Kaburenjo hall in Kyoto's Higashiyama Ward, on Feb. 19, 2020. (Mainichi/Mai Suganuma)

KYOTO -- The annual "Kyo Odori" spring dances put on by geisha here in Japan's ancient capital has been postponed due to the spread of the novel coronavirus, it was announced on March 3.

The Miyagawacho Kabukai, based in Kyoto's Higashiyama Ward and one of five major geisha associations in the western Japanese city, stated that the performances originally scheduled to run from April 1 to 16 will be rescheduled for around autumn, though no firm date has been set. The delay marks the first time the dances have been postponed or cancelled since the Kyo Odori started in 1950.

The 71st edition of the event was set to include a dance on a festival of sports theme. The association will accept ticket refund requests. For inquiries, call the association at 075-561-1151 (in Japanese).

Another geisha association in the Kamishichiken district of Kyoto's Kamigyo Ward has already postponed the "Kitano Odori" performances, which had been scheduled to commence on March 20.

(Japanese original by Mai Suganuma, Kyoto Bureau)

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