Russian dancers, musicians, singers, balalaika, garmoshka. Multicultural school assembly in Harrisonburg, VA (Virginia)
Students spent 45 minutes of their Wednesday afternoon 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 button accordion. Dancer Gosha presented Russian, Ukrainian, Siberian, and Gypsy dances including Siberian Nanai Wrestling dance, "Chicken Dance", the dance of "Russian Bear".
In between playing songs on their instruments, singing songs, and dancing traditional numbers to the music, 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 (POZHALUYSTA) and goodbye 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. Established in 1991, ensemble Barynya presents Russian, Cossack and Jewish traditional dancing and music on instruments including the balalaika, balalaika contrabass, guitar and garmoshka. Barynya has been invited to perform at some of the most prestigious cultural venues in the U.S., including Carnegie Hall, the Smithsonian, the United Nations and the Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C. Ensemble Barynya is available for hire for performing art centers, school assemblies, festivals, colleges, libraries, concert halls, restaurants, private and corporate events as one powerful ensemble or in smaller groups.
VIDEOSCONTACT INFORMATION: EMAIL MIKHAIL@BARYNYA.COM, PHONE (201) 981-2497
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