NJ Russin Trio. Garmoshka, Balalaika, dancers, Mahwah Public Library, Mahwah, New Jersey
New Jersey based Russian song, music and dance trio consisted of balalaika virtuoso Elina Karokhina, singer, folk button accordion-garmoshka player Mikhail Smirnov, and dancer Alisa Egorova performed 1 hour concert at the Winter Room of Mahwah Public Library on Sunday, January 15th, 2017. (Exact address of the library: 100 Ridge Road, Mahwah, NJ 07430.) The performance was well received by audience. The program included Siberian Nanai Wrestling Dance "Nanai Fighting", Russian folk button accordion "Garmoshka" introduction with traditional Russian song "Kalinka", The Snowstorm", Russian folk dance ("Метелица"), "Kamarinskaiya", Russian folk instrument balalaika introduction ("Камаринская"), Russian Tongue Twisters Medley ("Скороговорки"), Jewish wedding dance ("Свечки"), Russian Percussian Orchestra interactive game with students ("Трещётки"), Russian Romani Roma Gypsy song and dance ("Цыганский"), Russian folk dance lesson ("Урок танца"), Ukrainian folk song and dance Peedmanoola ("Украинский"), instrumental solo "Чардаш", Russian Bear dance "Медведь", Russian traditional song "The Peddlers", Waltz "Babochka" written by Vasily Andreev, and other selections.
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. Elina 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. She is a winner of International Music Competition in Cherepovets and a Holder of the First Place in Troyanovsky's Competition for musicians performing of traditional instruments in St. Petersburg, Russia. As a balalaika soloist Elina has toured all over the world. She was a soloist of State Concert Russian Orchestra of Saint Petersburg under direction of Honored Performer of Russia Vladimir Popov (Russian: Государственный Русский концертный оркестр Санкт-Петербурга, Художественный руководитель и главный дирижер – Заслуженный деятель искусств России ВЛАДИМИР ПОПОВ.) 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 world-famous 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 several concerts at the Carnegie Hall in New York City with symphony orchestra, choir, and opera soloists as a soloist of "The Orchestra Rocks" production. In September 2016 she appeared at the Carnegie Hall again as a part of "Moscow Gypsy Army" representing rich musical culture of Eastern Europian Roma people.
Russian balalaika virtuoso Elina Karokhina, Mahwah, NJ, Mahwah Public Library, New Jersey
Mikhail Smirnov was born in Moscow, Russia in 1966. He has been in the business of Russian folk dance and music for more than 25 years. 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.
Russian garmoshka player/singer Mikhail Smirnov, Mahwah, NJ, Mahwah Public Library, New Jersey
Russian dancer Alisa started to perform with ensemble Barynya in 2012. Her first performance took place during the Barynya's "Russian Spectacular" School Assembly Tour 2012-2013. Alisa specializes in Russian, Gypsy, Ukrainian, Siberian dancing.
Ukrainian dance "Peedmanoola", dancer Alisa Egorova, Mahwah Public Library, New Jersey
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