For fast price quote contact Mikhail Smirnov Barynya Entertainment

Balalaika Stooges. Russian music ensemble. New York-Pennsylvania

Russian music ensemble "Balalaika Stooges" musicians: Sasha Ressetar (balalaika), Michael L. Sensor (balalaika), Andy Koslow (balalaika contrabass), Serge Rogozin (balalaika), and Rick Heeld, playing Balalaika with pick, balalaika with finger and domra. We trained with Steve Wolownik, the Lady who ran the St. Andrews Balalaika group. We also trained with ourselves, (like all real worthwhile enterprises if you catch my drift.)

Balalaika Stooges

We like playing the deep in the heart Pennsylvania sound. Serge plays at a higher level and will be insulted by this so you should write to him for how he likes to play.

Steve Wolownik's memory Garden in Mount Laurel Library, Rick Heeld with domra is second from the left Steve Wolownik's memory Garden in Mount Laurel Library, Rick Heeld is in the middle with domra Steve Wolownik's memory Garden in Mount Laurel Library, Rick Heeld is the second from the right Steve Wolownik's memory Garden in Mount Laurel Library, Rick Heeld is in the middle with domra
Rick Heeld (with domra)

We got our start years ago when somebody asked for balalaika music and all the other musicians had snuck out to the bar and we were the only ones left holding instruments. We are at the bottom of the darwin evolution tree, yet like cockroaches, when all the other fancy musicians have died out we will be around playing our rote, repetitive, neuron burned in russian music for mall shoppers who believe we are the venice manadolin choir.

Steve Wolownik's memory Garden in Mount Laurel Library, Serge Rogozin is the third from the right with balalaika Steve Wolownik's memory Garden in Mount Laurel Library: Sergey Rogozin with Alex Siniavski
Serge Rogozin (with balalaika)

We will work for lodging, eats and booze and late night party sing-a-long and dance-a-longs. Some of us will work for access to Russian musicological PhD thesis. One of us will work for GI Joe dolls. Giving us a map to where you want us to play your gigue gaurantees we show up otherwise we get lost a lot. We like our vodka neat, our shoes unpolished, and all sheet music shredded.

The three Stooges balalaika group
13 seconds videoclip (MPG format)

Report of the 68th Novogodniy Ball, near PennDel, PA 16 Jan 04

Sasha Ressetar, Serge Rogozin and Rick Heeld attended the 68th Novogodny ball near the decrepit town of PennDel, PA. Sasha (moe), the organizer and musical leader contacted The PennBO balalaika force pool to see if they wanted to play the job, Larry (rick) and Curly (Serge) answered the call for an informal PennBO cluster-jam performance.

Russian Balalaika player Sasha Ressetar Russian Balalaika player Sasha Ressetar Russian Balalaika player Sasha Ressetar Russian Balalaika player Sasha Ressetar
Balalaika player Sasha Ressetar

Upon arrival we discovered the "official" swing band knew how to play "the good stuff." The dancing was a joy to behold. A whole ballroom of dancers doing polkas, line dances, waltzes, chicken dance, hopaks......AND troika, konoithcka...etc these guys know their old style russian folk ballroom dances. This sophisticated, spelling-challenged, erudite, boulivadier of a New York City dweller got his badly needed "deep Pennsylvania" shmengy brothers polka fix. While we were not "an official part" of the festivities, we did crash the main dining hall, "for a nominal fee" and played at one of the tables while the swing band was taking a break....much to the delight of the ball attendees who took a gadjillion photos and movies of us. With the showman-like-precision of trained circus poodles we performed brilliantly and also delighted the band on break. They even paid the "Three Stooges" the compliment of thanking us for our wonderful "mandolin playing". The fact that it was heartfelt made it all the more poignant.

Balalaika Stooges Afterwards the Three Stooges repaired to an upstairs hotel party room were we serenaded guests with all the tunes that we were able to "remember-that-we-know" as opposed to the much larger set of all "the-tunes-that-we-know", if you get the reporters drift. We wowed the late night hard core revelers until the early hours of the morning. The audience got a chuckle when Larry (Rick) said to the audience, "You should all be more drunk and be singing!", one person in the audience bemoaned the fact that "nobody drinks like they used to any more"......touching indeed. The crowd all remembered Steve Wolownik and somebody suggested lovingly that we go to Steve's cemetery and dig him up. Yes, I wish we could have.

With the conclusion of the musical soiree the three Stooges repaired to their Stateroom, noticing the much improved quality over the previous gig's "Three Judges" unhygienic, sticky wall, one hour rental rates, level three decontamination required, motel in CT. Radissons are truly welcome step up from our usual dreck.

The micro-miniture-pennbo-Troikathon ended Monday morning with an earnest study of the Maury Puavitch show. After much discussion and analysis the Stoogies agreed that teen pregnancy indeed not a good idea.

All in all, Sasha has proven himself as a leader and everybody in the greater Penn Balalaika force pool can rest assured of his abilities the next time he is selected for leading a job.

Black cats dressed in Russian folk costumes with balalaikas

Russian folk costume designer Svetlana Gavrilova has made a set of black cats dressed in Russian costumes with balalaikas. To view all photos you may need to join Balalaika Group on Google Network.

Svetlana Gavrilova: Balalaika cats dressed in Russian folk costumes
to view all cats with balalaikas dressed in Russian folk costumes

Russian New Year's characters Father Frost and Snow Maiden
Ded Moroz and Snegurochka (Russian: Дед Мороз и Снегурочка)

Father Frost and Snow Maiden are the most important characters of the New Year's celebration in Russia. Father Frost (Ded Moroz, Russian: Дед Мороз) plays a role similar to that of Santa Claus. The literal translation of the name would be "Grandfather Frost". However, English-speakers traditionally translate "DED MOROZ" as the alliterative "FATHER FROST". Ded Moroz is always accompanied by his granddaughter Snegurochka - Snow Maiden (Russian: Снегурочка).

New York based ensemble Barynya created a special Russian New Year's program with traditional Russian winter songs, dances and music: "In the forest a fir-tree was born" (V Lesu Rodilas' Yolochka), "Small Fir Tree is Freezing during the Winter" (Malen'koi Yolochke Kholdno Zimoy), "The snowstorm is blowing along the street" (Metelitsa), "Father Frost" (Moroz-Moroz), "Five minutes" (Pyat' Minut).

Ded Moroz and Snegurochka are available for hire in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania (within 100 miles driving distance from New York City). For a fast price quote contact Mikhail Smirnov

Ensemble Barynya Father Frosts and Snegurochkas
Father Frost and Snow Maiden - Ded Moroz and Snegurochka in New York City - photos

RELATED LINKS

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Barynya Russian Entertainment database
Russian dance and music ensemble Barynya from New York
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Russian Balalaika duo from Philadelphia, Pennsilvania
Russian Balalaika and Garmoshka Duo
Balalaika Dance Trio, Philadelphia, PA
Brooklyn Balalaikas
The Balalaika Russe
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Balalaika Stooges
Kalinka Duo: balalaika and bayan from Austin, TX
Alex Siniavski - Balalaika virtuoso from Philadelphia, PA
Lev Zabeginsky - New York balalaika virtuoso
Sasha Ressetar - balalaika player from Harrisburg, PA
Simon Lemberskiy - balalaika player from Brooklyn, New York
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Американско-Русская свадьба или как обмануть балалаечника

PennBO· Penn Balalaika Orchestra Alumni Assoc.
 

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