Russian Balalaika Music and Dance Duo (Mikhail Smirnov, Elina Karokhina) performed a school assembly concert on Thursday, October 29, 2015 at 9:45AM at the Elm Street Elem School, 160 Elm Street, Gardner, MA 01440. Mikhail and Elina already showcased their music and dance program at the Elm Street Elementary in 2013 as a part of Russian dance and music trio.
Program of performance:
Program of performance included the following:
Siberian Nanai Wrestling Dance "Nanaiskyi" (Òàíåö Áîðüáà Íàíàéñêèõ ìàëü÷èêîâ),
Russian folk accordion garmoshka introduction with popular folk song "Kalinka" (Êàëèíêà-Ìàëèíêà),
Russian folk song and dance "Metelitsa" (ÌÅÒÅËÈÖÀ, The Snowstorm),
introduction of Russian folk instrument Balalaika with performance of Russian folk dance ÊÀÌÀÐÈÍÑÊÀß (Kamarinskaiya),
Russin tongue-twisters Medley (ÑÊÎÐÎÃÎÂÎÐÊÈ),
Russian Jewish wedding dance ÑÂÅ×ÊÀ (Candle),
Russian Alphabet lesson (ÑËÎÂÀ),
Ukrainian folk song and dance "Pidmanula" (Òè æ ìåíå ïiäìàíóëà, Òè æ ìåíå ïiäâåëà, Òè æ ìåíå ìîëîäîãî Ç óìà-ðîçóìó çâåëà),
popular Russian Gypsy Roma song and dance Dark Eyes (Î×È ×ÅÐÍÛÅ),
instrumental number balalaika solowith song "ÂÀËÅÍÊÈ" (Felt Boots),
Russian percussian Band interactive game with students (ÎÐÊÅÑÒÐ),
Russian folk dance Barynya lesson for all students (ÓÐÎÊ ÒÀÍÖÀ),
Balalaika instrumental solo CHARDASH (×ÀÐÄÀØ), and Dance of Russian Bear (ÌÅÄÂÅÄÜ).
About Elina Karokhina, the balalaika virtuoso, singer, dancer:
Balalaika virtuoso 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 St. Petersburg State 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".
About Mikhail Smirnov, garmoshka and guitar player, singer:
Mikhail Smirnov was born in Moscow, Russia. 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, ensemble "Moskoviya" under the direction of Valeriy Kuz'mich Nesterov. 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.
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