California, Los Gatos. Russian Balalaika Duo

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Two members of Russian song, dance and music ensemble Barynya (garmoshka and guitar player, MC and singer Mikhail Smirnov, balalaika virtuoso Elina Karokhina) performed 1 hour concert at the Los Gatos Meadows Community, 110 Wood Rd, Los Gatos, CA 95030 on Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019.
 
Ensemble Barynya is available for hire for Performing Art Centers, school assemblies, festivals, colleges, universities, libraries, concert halls, restaurants, private and corporate events as one powerful ensemble or in smaller groups.

Contact information: phone/text: (201) 981-2497 / email msmirnov@yahoo.com

Los Gatos Meadows Community, Los Gatos, California
Los Gatos Meadows Community, Los Gatos, California
click the image above to see full size high-resolution photo

The program of the performance included Russian folk button accordion garmoshka (Russian: Гармошка) introduction with traditional Russian song "Saturday Affair" ("Subboteya"), Russian traditional Khorovod song and dance "The Snowstorm" (Russian: "Метелица"), introduction of the Russian traditional string instrument balalaika (instrumental solo of folk tune "Kamarinskaiya" (Russian: "Камаринская"), Russian Jewish wedding dance with Candles ("Свечка"), Russian Roma (Romani) Gypsy song and dance "Dark Eyes" (Russian: Очи чёрные - Цыганский), Russian Tongue-Twisters Medley (Russian: "Скороговорки"), Waltz "The Butterfly" by Vasily Andreev ("Бабочка"), Russian folk song "Husband Forsed Me" ("Как заставил меня муж"), Felt Boots ("Валенки"), Ukrainian folk song and dance "Pidmanula" - "You Tricked Me" ("Украинский"), "Sabre Dance" ("Танец с саблями"), Russian folk dance "Kalinka" (Russian: Калинка), and many other selections.

Los Gatos Meadows Community, Los Gatos, California
Los Gatos Meadows Community, Los Gatos, California, Barynya Balalaika Duo, Elina Karokhina, Mikhail Smirnov
click the image above to see full size high-resolution photo

Artistic director/founder Mikhail Smirnov played the garmoshka, a Russian-style diatonic button accordion and guitar. In between numbers of the show Mikhail shared a little bit of the Russian language with the students. He taught them phrases such as "Thank You" (SPASEEBA), "Hello" (ZDRASTVUITE), "You're Welcome" (PAZHALUYSTA) and "Bye" (PAKA) as well as the alphabet and counting. He said each word in English and then slowly in Russian, allowing the children a moment to try the words themselves after each one. After the segment on words, the students attempted to chatter in Russian for a couple minutes, smiling and laughing about how they sounded. Almost in the end of the performance, Mikhail paused to share a couple of Russian tongue twisters, explaining each one in English first, and then saying them in Russian at top speed. With each one, the twisters got more complicated and lengthy. There was even a chance for a handful of students to get up on stage and try out moves of Russian dance BARYNYA.

Los Gatos Meadows Community, Los Gatos, California
Los Gatos Meadows Community, Los Gatos, California, Barynya Balalaika Duo, Elina Karokhina, Mikhail Smirnov
click the image above to see full size high-resolution photo

Balalaika virtuoso Elina Karokhina was born in Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg), Russia. She began her formal training at the Mussorgsky Music College of St. Petersburg and continued her training at N.A. Rimsky-Korsakov Saint Petersburg State Conservatory, earning a degree as an Orchestra Soloist. She continued her training at the Conservatory, which included a brief residency in Germany. After, she returned to her native St. Petersburg and completed her education, earning a Doctor of Musical Art degree in the Balalaika. Following her graduation, she began working as a musician, both as a teacher and as a performer, teaching balalaika. Elina Karokhina served in the Russian Army in the Military Ensemble in the Northwest Order of Red Stars. As a balalaika soloist Elina has toured all over the world. When she moved to the United States in 2009 she was hired as a musicial director and soloist with the biggest professional Russian music, song and dance ensemble Barynya (New York). In January 2015 Elina Karokhina was selected to perform the balalaika part with Mariinsky Theatre directed by famous Russian conductor Valery Gergiev in Rodion Shchedrin's opera "The Enchanted Wanderer" at the Howard Gilman Opera House in Brooklyn, New York. In May 2016 she was hired to play six concerts at the Carnegie Hall in New York City as a part of "THE TRIUMPH OF HOPE" international event. In September 2016 he appeared at the Carnegie Hall again as a part of "Moscow Gypsy Army" representing rich musical culture of Eastern Europian Roma people. In January 2017 Elina was hired to play Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's "The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh" Suite at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. with the National Symphony Orchestra. All four performances were under direction of world-famous conductor Sir Mark Elder. Recently Elina was invited to perform as a Honored Guest Artist at the Balalaika and Domra Association of America 40th Jubilee Convention that will be taking place in Philadelphia in July 2018.

Los Gatos Meadows Community, Los Gatos, California
Los Gatos Meadows Community, Los Gatos, California, Barynya Balalaika Duo, Elina Karokhina, Mikhail Smirnov
click the image above to see full size high-resolution photo

Singer, musician, garmoshka, and guitar player Mikhail Smirnov was born in Moscow, Russia. Mikhail is an artistic director and founder of ensemble Barynya based in New York City, author of many articles about traditional Russian dance, music and instruments in English and Russian. Mikhail received his Master's degree from the Moscow State University of Culture and Arts. As a child, he was a member of the famous "Moscow Boys Chorus" - one of the most prestigious all-male choirs in Russia. Before coming to the United States in 1991, Mikhail was a soloist in a several Russian folk dance and music groups including the Moscow State Center for Russian song, "Russkaya Pesnya", under the direction of Nadezhda Babkina. In January 2009 Mikhail Smirnov and dancers of ensemble Barynya were featured on national TV, NBC's "SUPERSTARS OF DANCE" - breathtaking international dance competition led by executive producers Nigel Lythgoe and Simon Fuller (American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance). This prestigious dance competition hosted by Michael Flatley ("Lord of the Dance") and Susie Castillo, a former Miss USA. Mikhail Smirnov was one of eight judges to decide which country will win. The show premiered on NBC network.

PHOTOS

Los Gatos Meadows Community, Los Gatos, California
Los Gatos Meadows Community, Los Gatos, California, Barynya Balalaika Duo, Elina Karokhina, Mikhail Smirnov
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Los Gatos Meadows Community, Los Gatos, California
Los Gatos Meadows Community, Los Gatos, California, Barynya Balalaika Duo, Elina Karokhina, Mikhail Smirnov
click the image above to see full size high-resolution photo

Los Gatos Meadows Community, Los Gatos, California
Los Gatos Meadows Community, Los Gatos, California, Barynya Balalaika Duo, Elina Karokhina, Mikhail Smirnov
click the image above to see full size high-resolution photo

Los Gatos Meadows Community, Los Gatos, California
Los Gatos Meadows Community, Los Gatos, California, Barynya Balalaika Duo, Elina Karokhina, Mikhail Smirnov
click the image above to see full size high-resolution photo

Los Gatos Meadows Community, Los Gatos, California
Los Gatos Meadows Community, Los Gatos, California, Barynya Balalaika Duo, Elina Karokhina, Mikhail Smirnov
click the image above to see full size high-resolution photo

Los Gatos Meadows Community, Los Gatos, California
Los Gatos Meadows Community, Los Gatos, California Los Gatos Meadows Community, Los Gatos, California, Mikhail Smirnov
click images above to see full size high-resolution photos

Contact information: phone/text: (201) 981-2497 / email msmirnov@yahoo.com

RELATED LINKS

Mikhail Smirnov, Elina Karokhina, and other performers of Barynya ensemble at the events in California: Burbank Russian restaurant in Los Angeles, Royal Palace Banquet Hall in Glendale, Magdalena Banquet Hall in San Francisco, San Francisco's St. Francis Yacht Club, Santa Monica's Shutters on the Beach, Rising Star Montessori School in Alameda, CA, Hathaway-Sycamore School, Altadena, CA (2013), Hathaway-Sycamore School, Altadena, CA (2017), Fox Elementary School, Belmont, CA, Russian Christmas Party, private house in Calabasas, CA, Camarillo High School, Сamarillo, CA, Hidahl Elementary School in Сeres, CA, Superior Elementary School, Chatsworth, CA, Sunset Elementary School, Coalinga, CA, Baywood Elementary School, Coarsegold, CA, Copperopolis Elementary School, Copperopolis, CA, Muir Middle School, Corcoran, CA, Mary Peacock Elementary School, and Pine Grove Elementary School, Crescent City, CA, Rio Vista Elementary School, El Monte, CA (2015), Rio Vista Elementary School, El Monte (March 2019), Farmersville Jr. High School, Farmersville, CA, Mountain View Elementary School, Fresno, CA, Georgetown Elementary School, Georgetown, CA, Simas Elementary School, Hanford, CA, Happy Camp Union Elementary School, Happy Camp, CA, Bret Harte Middle School, Hayward, CA, Jordan Winery, Sonoma County, Healdsburg, CA, Coyote Valley Elementary School, Hidden Valley Lake, CA, North Hillsborough Elementary School, Hillsborough, CA, Kenwood Elementary School, Kenwood, CA, Twelve Bridges Elementary School, Lincoln, CA, Foothill Intermediate School, Lomarica, CA, The Music Center, W.M. Keck Amphitheatre at Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, CA, Roscomare Road Elementary School, Los Angeles, CA, South Bay Community Concert Association, Los Angeles, CA, Studio City's Carpenter Community Charter School, Los Angeles, CA, Los Gatos Meadows Community, Los Gatos, CA (2017), Los Gatos-2019, Baywood Elementary School, Los Osos, CA, Mira Costa High School Auditorium, Manhattan Beach, CA, Sierra Hills Elementary School, Meadow Vista, CA, Washington Elementary School, Mendota, CA, Franklin Elementary School, Merced, CA, Ramona Elementary School, Moreno Valley, CA, Village School, North Highlands, CA, Chavez Middle School, Oceanside, CA, Hueneme High School, Hollywood Beach Elementary School, Tower Club, Oxnard, CA, Hillside Education Center, Pasadena, CA, Gold Oak Elementary School, Placerville, CA, Richard Bard Elementary School, Port Hueneme, CA, Painted Rock Elementary School, Poway, CA, Palos Verdes Peninsula Montessori School, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, Park View Elementary School, Ripon, CA, Maidu Elementary School, Roseville, CA, DaVinci School, Sacramento, CA, Sisk Elementary School, Salida, CA, Los Paseos Elementary School, San Jose, CA, Madison Elementary School, San Leandro, CA, Stanbridge Academy, San Mateo, CA, Walker Elementary School, Santa Ana, CA, Hope Elementary School, Santa Barbara, CA, Austin Creek Elementary School, Santa Rosa, CA, Mary Seiad Elementary School, Seiad Valley, CA, Loma Elementary School, Spring Valley, CA, Dolores Huerta Elementary School, Stockton, CA, Byrd Middle School, Sun Valley, CA, Ellis Elementary School, Sunnyvale, CA, Barnett Elementary School, Temecula, CA, Los Cerritos Middle School, Thousand Oaks, CA (2013), St. Patrick's Day School, Thousand Oaks, CA (2017), Banta Elementary School, Tracy, CA, Turlock Junior High School, Turlock, CA, Grace Hudson Elementary School, Frank Zeek Elementary School, Ukiah, CA, Seven Hills School, Walnut Creek, CA, Enadia Technology Charter School, West Hills, CA, Cali Calmecac Language Academy, Windsor, CA, Jackson Street School, Yreka, CA, Tierra Buena Elementary School, Yuba City, CA

Contact information: phone/text: (201) 981-2497 / email msmirnov@yahoo.com

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