New Ulm, MN. Russian ballet dancer, balalaika virtuoso, Cossack, Gypsy, Jewish. Multicultural School Assembly in Minnesota
Dancers, musicians and singers of ensemble Barynya presented a program of Russian, Cossack, Ukrainian, Gypsy, and Jewish dances, songs, balalaika and garmoshka music on Wednesday, February 6th, 2013 at 9:15am at the St. Pauls Lutheran School, 126 South Payne Street, New Ulm, MN 56073.
Cast of ensemble Barynya performers included Mikhail Smirnov (singer, garmoshka, guitar), Elina Karokhina (balalaika virtuoso), dancer Elena Maleenina.
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.
Balalaika virtuoso and dancer 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.
Yelena Maleenina was born in the Latvia (Balka). She studied and graduated from the famous Bolshoi Academy in Moscow. Elena has been a principal dancer with the Odessa Opera, Ballet Theatre of Ukraine, Moscow City Ballet (Russia), Ontario Ballet (Canada), Albany Berkshire Ballet and Brighton Ballet (USA). She has danced such roles as Paquita, Don Quixote, La Bayadere, Giselle, Les Sylphides, Dying Swan, Sleeping Beauty and Nutcracker. In 1996 she received the Diploma Award at the prestigous Serge Lifare International Competition in Kiev.
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.
School assembly at Holdingford Elementary School in Holdingford, MN
Dancers, musicians and singers of ensemble Barynya presented a program of traditional Russian, Cossack, Ukrainian, Gypsy, and Jewish dances, songs and music on Friday, April 6th, 2018 at the Holdingford Elementary School, 900 5th Street, Holdingford, MN 56340. Cast of ensemble Barynya performers included Mikhail Smirnov (singer, garmoshka, guitar), Elina Karokhina (balalaika virtuoso, dancer), Ukrainian Cossack dancers Serhiy Tsyganok.
Balalaika and Domra Association of America conference in in Minneapolis, MN
Russian music ensemble Barynya performed during the "Gypsy Night" and "Open Microphone Night" during the Balalaika and Domra Association of America conference. The conference took place at the Sheraton Bloomington Hotel in Minneapolis, Minnesota in July, 2010. Ensemble Barynya cast included Elina Karokhina (balalaika), Leonid Bruk (balalaika-contrabass), singer Alexander Menshikov, Mikhail Smirnov (guitar, garmoshka, vocals).
Russian song, dance, and music ensemble Barynya performed a concert on Tuesday, February 05, 2013 at the Fond Du Lac Ojibwe School, 49 University Road, Cloquet, MN 55720. The program included Russian folk dances "Barynya", "Metelitsa", "Kalinka", Ukrainian traditional song and dance "Pidmanula", Russian dance from "Swan Lake" ballet, classical ballet dance "Swan", interactive numbers including lesson of Russian folk dance for all students. Artist and sudents performed together popular Russian song "Katyusha". Ensemble Barynya cast included Elina Karokhina (balalaika), dancer Elena Malinina, and Mikhail Smirnov (guitar, garmoshka, vocals).
Dancers, musicians and singers of ensemble Barynya presented 45 min school assembly program of traditional Russian, Cossack, Ukrainian, Gypsy, and Jewish dances, songs and music on Thursday, April 5th, 2018 at 8:30am and 9:30am at the Southgate Elementary School, 1601 19th Ave SW, Austin, MN 55912.
School assembly at the Holy Family School in Albany, Minnesota
Russian balalaika virtuoso Elina Karokhina, singer/garmoshka/guitar player Mikhail Smirnov, and Ukrainian Cossack dancer Serhiy Tsyganok performed 45 min school assembly program in Albany, Minnesota.
The show took place at the at Holy Family School, 160 Second Street, Albany, MN 56307 on Friday, April 6th, 2018 at 8:30am.
Russian folk singer, garmoshka and guitar player Mikhail Smirnov, and dancer Yelena Maleenina performed 45 min school assembly program in Nett Lake, Minnesota. The show took place at the at Nett Lake Elementary School, 13090 Westley Drive, Nett Lake, MN 55772 on Tuesday, February 5pm, 2013 at 9am.