Roseville, California, CA, balalaika, garmoshka, costumed characters, multicultural school assembly
In April 2013 Russian school assembly trio performed shows at the Maidu Elementary School (1950 Johnson Ranch Dr, Roseville, CA 95661) and Creekview Ranch Middle School (8779 Cook Riolo Road, Roseville, CA 95747). Students and teachers spent about 45 minutes learning about Russian culture through songs, music, dance and language. Musical director of the group Elina Karokhina played the balalaika, a three-stringed, triangular instrument, Artistic director/founder Mikhail Smirnov played the garmoshka, a Russian-style diatonic button accordion and guitar. In between playing songs on their instruments, singing songs, Mikhail Smirnov shared a little bit of the Russian language with the students. He taught them phrases such as "Thank You" (SPASIBO), "Hello" (ZDRAVSTVUITE), "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 a couple of Russian percussion instruments.
November 5th, 2020. Virtual performances at the Evergreen Elementary School, San Jose, California
On Thursday, November 5th, 2020 dancers and musicians of Russian dance and music ensemble Barynya presented two virtual performances for the students of the Evergreen Elementary School, San Jose, California. Exact address of the school: 3010 Fowler Rd, San Jose, CA 95135. Forty five min program of each assembly included introduction to Russian language, culture, Russian, Cossack, Ukrainian, Jewish and Gypsy Roma traditional dancing, music, songs, and virtuoso performances on instruments including the balalaika, garmoshka (Russian folk button accordion) and balalaika contrabass. Cast of performers: dancer Konstantin Tulinov, Mikhail Smirnov (garmoshka, guitar, vocals), Elina Karokhina (balalaika), dancer Elena Notkina, dancer Alexander Rudoy, dancer Katsiaryna Mileuskaya,
dancer Zheniya Berdzinishvili, dancer Vladimir Nikitin, dancer Sergey Tsyganok, dancer Veronika Hunko, dancer Valentina Kvasova, dancer Maryia Zhukovich,
dancer Olga Chpitalnaia, dancer Anna Brovkina, dancer Katerina Brovkina, dancer Irina Kl, dancer Ilia Pankratov, dancer Danila Sherstobitov, and dancer Aliaksandr Anatska.