47. Theme for New Year's Dance Performance



It's already the year end. I mean, how quick!

This year, Kaomise (顔見世, the annual year end play at Minamiza theater) is back to Minamiza (南座) after the three long years of renovation work. The Maneki (まねき, a billboard over the eaves of the Minamiza theater on which all star actors' names are presented) is telling us the arrival of December.

Every year in this season, I recall the dance lessons for "Odai no Mai (お題の舞)", a choreography in accordance with the theme of Utakai Hajime (歌会初め, the poetry reading at the beginning of the New Year), that decided at the year end using only one Kanji (漢字) character.

At Shigyoshiki (始業式, the commencement ceremony) on January 7, sales awards are given to top ten Maiko (舞妓) based on Ohana (お花, sales amount) of the previous year, and the ten Maiko are assigned to perform the Odai no Mai at the Utakai Hajime of the coming New Year.

Hence, the lessons for Odai no Mai is given only to the potential candidates. When I was new, I strongly admired those selected ones, and firmly decided to be included in the top ten. When I finally made it, I determined even more, not to drop from the top ten. The Odai no Mai practice was such an important event to me.

The theme for 2019 has been announced as "Hikari (光, the Light)". I can picture, pretty little Maiko are doing their practice very hard by now.

Thank you so much.

Talk to you later.

Beniko

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