Russian Balalaika Duo (Elina Karokhina and Mikhail Smirnov) performed 45 min programs of traditional dances, songs and music in Scotia, New York.
The Multicultural School Assembly took place on
Tuesday, January 19, 2016 (2pm) at the Glendaal Elementary School, 774 Sacandaga Road, Scotia, NY 12302.
Program of performance:
01. Siberian Nanai Tribe Sumo Wrestling Dance (Борьба Нанайских мальчиков)
02. "Moroz" (Ой, мороз-мороз), Russian folk button accordion garmoshka introduction
03. "The Snowstorm" (Russian: Метелица - Metelitsa), Russian folk song and dance
04. "Kamarinskaiya" (Камаринская), introduction of Russian folk instrument balalaika
05. "Dark Eyes" (Очи Чёрные), Russian Gypsy Roma song and dance
06. "Skorogovorkee" (Скороговорки), Medley of Russian tongue-twisters
07. "Evreiskiy Tanets" (Еврейский танец со свечкой), Russian Jewish wedding dance with Candle
08. "Russskiy Alfaveet" (Русский алфавит), Russian Alphabet lesson
09. "You Tricked Me" (Пидманула), Ukrainian folk song and dance
10. "Muzh" and "Valenkee" ("Как заставил меня муж", "Валенки"), Russian folk songs medley
11. "Orkestr Russkikh Narodnykh Instrumentov" - Russian percussian Band interactive game with students (Коробейники)
12. Russian Chicken dance
13. "Kaleenka", Popular Russian folk song - (Калинка-малинка моя)
14. "Barynya", Russian folk dance lesson and workshop for all students (Урок русского народного танца).
Russian ethnomusicologist, singer, musician, Artistic Director and Founder of Barynya ensemble Mikhail Smirnov (garmoshka, guitar, vocals) led the performance by giving a short explanation of every number of the program in English. He talked briefly about costumes, folk instruments, Russian traditions, explained the difference between Russian and English alphabet, and performed Russian tongue-twisters. Musical director of the group Elina Karokhina performed a few solos on Russian folk instrument balalaika and several dance numbers.
Elina Karokhina who 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 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 as a part of "The TRIUMPH OF HOPE" international event.
Both Elina Karokhina and Mikhail Smirnov are members of Russian dance and music ensemble Barynya (established in 1991). The 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.