Geisha and their apprentices rehearsed a dance performance for the media on Monday in Kyoto, wrapping up preparations ahead of the start of a downscaled, nine-day event scheduled for later this month.

The geisha and maiko, as their apprentices are known, from Gion Kobu, one of the five geisha districts in Kyoto, demonstrated their dances with fans in hand at the Gion Corner. Clad in colorful kimono, they wore face masks during the rehearsal.

Geisha and their apprentices rehearse a dance wearing face masks at Gion Corner in Kyoto on April 5, 2021. (Kyodo)

Around 70 geisha and maiko are set to perform at the Haru No Miyabi show to be held twice a day from April 12. The number of spectators in the performance venue will be reduced to half capacity or less due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Organizers decided to hold the event to give geisha and maiko opportunities to perform and pass on their skills after the Miyako Odori, a traditional spring dance festival popular with tourists, was canceled for the second year in a row due to the pandemic.