Finksburg, MD, Maryland, Russian dancers, musicians, singers, balalaika, garmoshka. Multicultural school assembly

Dancers, musicians, and singers of Russian traditional dance, song and music ensemble Barynya presented a program of Russian, Ukrainian, Cossack, Siberian, and Gypsy songs, music and dances on Thursday, November 01, 2012 at the Sandymount Elementary School, 2222 Old Westminster Pike, Finksburg, MD 21048. Ensemble Barynya's cast: Elina Karokhina (balalaika, dance, vocals), Mikhail Smirnov (garmoshka, guitar, vocals, costumed charachters), Alisa (dancer, costume charachters). 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.


For the price quote email or call (201) 981-2497.

By Samantha Madison, Times Staff Writer.
Article copied from

SANDYMOUNT — Students sat in a group on the floor listening to a woman play music on a traditional Russian instrument while a dancing bear roamed the crowd high-fiving the Sandymount Elementary School children.
Students spent 45 minutes of their half-day Thursday learning about Russian culture through music, dance and language. PTA member Rose Kendig works with the parent group to bring a different experience to the school every half-day. The PTA raises money throughout the year and a part of those funds goes to cultural arts education, Kendig said. Previously, they have brought in a troupe of deaf dancers, African dancers as well as many more.
"We had never brought a Russian group to the school before," she said. "I thought it would be fun and unique."
Barynya, the Russian dance group behind Russian Spectacular, is traveling to nearly 200 schools in 40 states through May. Mikhail Smirnov, one of the group's founding members, said they play at schools, performing arts centers and a lot of weddings.
The group is made up of about 25 people, but only three are on this tour; they always have someone to dance, sing and play instruments. This time around, Smirnov plays the garmoshka, a Russian-style accordion; Elina Karokhina plays the balalaika, a three-stringed, triangular instrument; and Alisa Yegorova dances.
In between playing songs on their instruments and dancing traditional numbers to the music, Smirnov shared a little bit of the Russian language with the students. He taught them phrases such as thank you, please, hello, you're welcome 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.
Since the students learn a little about Russia in second grade, the group of third- through fifth-graders had been introduced to the culture. Assistant Principal Mary Gouker said the PTA tries to bring in groups that hit on all the key components of education.
"The kids see it as a break," she said, "but they don't realize they're learning."
About halfway through, Smirnov 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. It took Smirnov seven years to master the tongue twisters, he said.
Fourth-grader Anthony Agans said that was his favorite part of the presentation.
"I liked the tongue twisters and the dancing," he said. "I tried saying the tongue twisters, but it didn't really work out."
There was even a chance for a handful of students to get up on stage and try out a couple of Russian percussion instruments while wearing hats from the costumes. Third-grader Raven McMichael was pulled on stage by Smirnov for doing well during the Russian language segment. Smiling, Raven walked up on stage and toyed with one of the instruments Karokhina handed her.
Raven already knew how to speak a little bit of Russian, having learned it from one of her friends, whose family is Russian. Her favorite part of the show was shouting out the words and the dancing.
"The embarrassing part was wearing the freaky hat," she said.
Smirnov, the artistic director, said Barynya was founded in 1991 in Long Island, N.Y., because there were no Russian dance groups in New York City. But now they are doing the school tour because he has children around the same age and he enjoys sharing the culture with the students.
"I think the whole show is a lot of fun for them," Smirnov said. "To see the costumes, the different dance moves, different way of singing, you know it's just fun for kids."
Teachers and faculty enjoy the chance to teach the children at their school about other countries with people with real experiences to share. Andy Yount, guidance counselor at Sandymount, sees these opportunities as a good way to introduce the students to other cultures.
"I just like the idea that the PTA brings in different cultures to share," Yount said. "I think this is what gets the kids really inspired and enthusiastic about learning."
Fourth-grader Abby Wimmer said she enjoyed learning about Russia.
"I learned to say some words in Russian," she said. "I learned that the country's animal is the bear."
Smirnov said when he was growing up in Russia, there weren't any chances for them to learn about other cultures.
"We are so glad to be able to share Russian culture in the United States," he said. "I think American kids have a really nice opportunity in life."

© 2013 Carroll County Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


DYLAN SLAGLE/STAFF PHOTO. Playing Russian instruments. Third-graders, from left, Kaecee Ledden, Raven McMichael, fourth-grader Julia Patch and third-grader R.J. Hooper react as performer Elina Karokhina gives them Russian-styled hats and folk instruments during a "Russian Spectacular" performance by Barynya, a professional dancing and singing group, at Sandymount Elementary School Thursday.

DYLAN SLAGLE/STAFF PHOTO. Gypsy dance. Dancer Elina Karokhina performs a Gypsy dance accompanied by Mikhail Smirnov during a "Russian Spectacular" performance by Barynya, a professional dancing and singing group, at Sandymount Elementary School Thursday.

DYLAN SLAGLE/STAFF PHOTO. Playing Russian instruments. Third-grader R.J. Hooper, right, and fourth-grader Julia Patch, left, play Russian folk instruments after being invited on stage during a “Russian Spectacular” performance by Barynya, a professional dancing and singing group, at Sandymount Elementary School Thursday.

12-18-2012, Youths Benefit Elementary School, Fallston, Maryland

On Tuesday, December 18, 2012 Barynya Trio performed at the Youths Benefit Elementary School in Fallston, Maryland. Cast: Mikhail Smirnov, Elina Karokhina, Erik Davletbaev.

Barynya School Assembly Trio, Russian dancers, Russian musicians, Russian singers, balalaika, garmoshka, Russian music, Russian dance, Russian songs, Youths Benefit Elementary School, Fallston, Maryland, Mikhail Smirnov, Elina Karokhina, Erik Davletbaev, 12-18-2012, Monday December 18 2012, Youths Benefit Elementary School 1901 Fallston Rd Fallston MD 21047
12-18-2012, Youths Benefit Elementary School, Fallston, Maryland


For the price quote email or call (201) 981-2497.


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