Maiko_005 - Michael Helbig

The Japan Foundation, Sydney presents a live performance by geisha hailing from Japan’s most prestigious geisha community, Gion district in Kyoto. Titled Jewels of Kyoto, this show is on for one night only at Sydney’s Monkey Baa Theatre Company on Tuesday, 23 February 2016, 6:30–8pm.

Geisha are professional female artists who commit themselves to mastering a variety of traditional Japanese arts, such as music, dance and tea ceremony. In Kyoto, geisha culture is most robust and the training most rigorous. Here, geisha are referred to as geiko (lit., ‘woman of arts’) and their teenaged apprentices are known as maiko (lit., ‘dancing girl’). A maiko dresses in a youthful colour palette; her vibrant kimono is always paired with elaborate hair accessories. When she becomes recognised as a geiko, her new style is understated to reflect her maturity and a successful career depends on her artistry.

This performance offers an opportunity to experience first-hand the alluring world of geisha. The visiting geiko and maiko will perform traditional dance and song, offer a glimpse into their lives and host a lesson on the gentle and refined dialect of Kyoto.

As a precursor to the Sydney event, The Japan Foundation, Sydney will host a free film screening of Lady Maiko at its premises on Wednesday, 10 February. The film will be in Japanese with English subtitles. As part of their Australian tour, the maiko and geiko will perform in Perth on Saturday, 27 February.

Jewels of Kyoto

Date: Tuesday 23rd February
Time: 6:30pm – 8pm (Doors at 6pm)
Where: Monkey Baa Theatre Company – Darling Quarter, Sydney
Price: $10
Tickets: Online via  or Monkey Baa call 1300 131 556.

Date: Saturday 27th February
Time: TBA – see for more information
Where: Forrest Place, Perth
Price: FREE
Information: Via Perth Japan Festival

Film Screening: Lady Maiko
Date: Wednesday 10th February
Time: 6:15pm – 8:30pm (Doors at 6pm)
Where: The Japan Foundation, Sydney. Level 4 Central Park, Chippendale
Price: FREE (Booking essential)