New York based Russian Balalaika Orchestra from New York City is led by Mikhail Smirnov. The company is usually invited to play during cocktails at a traditional Russian weddings, Russian fundraising balls like the Petroushka Ball, large scale social events and presentations, and Doctor Zhivago's style corporate parties.
The Russian Nobility Association in America annual Spring Russian Nobility
Ball took place at the luxurious "Pierre" Hotel on May 11, 2007 in New York City.
Musicians and dancers of New York based Russian dance and music ensemble Barynya (full company)
provided music for coctail hour and thirty minute music and dance program during the dinner. "Barynya" performed popular Russian Gypsy pieces: "Two Guitars", "Kay One", "Vingerka", "3 lines", Russian favorite balalaika arrangement "The Moon is shining brightly" and Cossack song and dance "Varen'ka".
Barynya has the most beautiful and expensive traditional costumes: Russian Boyarsky, Russian Cossack, Russian Peasant, Ukrainian and Gypsy.
All members of the balalaika orchestra are highly trained in former USSR, Russia, Ukraine and United States professional musicians with conservatory background. THE BARYNYA BALALAIKA ORCHESTRA provides own top quality sound system with microphones.
Barynya Balalaika Orchestra is providing dancing music for the famous "Petroushka Ball", a traditional Russian ball held annually in New York City by Russian Children’s Welfare Society.
RCWS started in 1965 by a group of descendants of Russian families whose intent was to raise funds to help to Russian children. Since then, the "Petroushka Ball" has become one of New York Society's most vibrant and anticipated annual events, attracting upwards of 800 dinner and dancing guests.
On February 10, 2006, the Russian Children's Welfare Society celebrated its 80th year by holding its 41st Annual Petroushka Ball at the Grand Ballroom, and the adjacent Jade Room, of the famed Waldorf-Astoria in New York. Approximately 800 people attended this event which was a fabulous success thanks in large part to Mikhail Smirnov and his "Barynya Russian Balalaika Orchestra". They were fabulous and kept the attendees singing and dancing until 3:00 AM. We have had several Balalaika groups over the years, but none were better than BARYNYA. We hope to have them back for many, many years. These musicians are extremely talented.
One of our Board members wrote to me: "The after 10PM event with 'Barynya' was almost the “insider” more hip part of the evening.
It was the place where we old fogies were letting our hair down what little we have left. The festiveness was more intense than prior years.
You have created a new event within an old tired one. The Ball has taken on a whole new energy that is taking root in a new generation
who are making it an important annual event on their social calendars. I think we can expect it to continue to grow as long as you are
at the helm and your passion continues to ignite the best in all of us.
LET THE FLAMES SPREAD!!!!!!!!!!!!
Vladimir P. Fekula
Russian Children's Welfare Society
photo by Vladimir P. Fekula
The leading balalaika player of the Barynya Balalaika Orchestra is Alex Siniavski, acclaimed balalaika virtuoso, former
first balalaika of the world known State Andreeev's Balalaika Orchestra from St. Petersburg, Russia, author of the
first BALALAIKA TUTORIAL ON DVD.
The leading singer is famous singer Gari Nova. Gari is a legend of Russian immigration in the United States known as "The Russian Crooner".
He has made many appearances throughout the United States and Europe, in
places such as Lincoln Center in New York City, and The Palace in Gstadd, Switzerland.
Russian, Ukrainian, Gypsy and Klezmer music, songs and dances:
Kalinka, Hopak, Devochka Nadya, Barynya, Sailors, Dark Eyes, Chubchik, Moscow Nights, Volga Boarman, Korobushka (The Peddler),
Odessa, Marusechka, Zemlyanka, Dark Night,
Katyusha, Smuglyanka, Two guitars, Chastushki, Cheremshina, Chervona Ruta, Tango Dark Eyes, Put'-Dorozhka, Polyushko,
Marusya 1,2,3, Serdtse, Along Petersburg, Murka, Goro-gori, By the long road, Tzar Nikolai, Sergey Gusarov, Konfetki-baranochki,
My Gypsies, Stakanchiki Granyonye, Shto mne gore, Ural'skaya Ryabinushka, Kayone, Pri Luzhke, Ne budite, Po Dikim Stepyam Zabailaliya,
Vesyoloi Shumnoyu Tolpoyu, Zlaty Kolechiki, Subboteya, Quadrille, Pidmanula, Varenichki, Chardash, The Moon Is Shining Brightly,
Birch-tree, Rucheyok and more.
DANCING WITH THE BARYNYA BALALAIKA ORCHESTRA
From "War and Peace" by Leo Tolstoy. On photos below people are dancing with THE BARYNYA BALALAIKA ORCHESTRA at the Petrushka Ball. Waldorff Astoria Hotel, New York City 2006.
And indeed everybody in the room looked with a smile of pleasure
at the jovial old gentleman, who standing beside his tall and stout
partner, Marya Dmitrievna, curved his arms, beat time, straightened
his shoulders, turned out his toes, tapped gently with his foot,
and, by a smile that broadened his round face more and more,
prepared the onlookers for what was to follow. As soon as the
provocatively gay strains of Daniel Cooper (somewhat resembling
those of a merry peasant dance) began to sound, all the doorways of
the ballroom were suddenly filled by the domestic serfs- the men on
one side and the women on the other- who with beaming faces had come
to see their master making merry.
"Just look at the master! A regular eagle he is!" loudly remarked
the nurse, as she stood in one of the doorways.
The count danced well and knew it. But his partner could not and did
not want to dance well. Her enormous figure stood erect, her
powerful arms hanging down (she had handed her reticule to the
countess), and only her stern but handsome face really joined in the
dance. What was expressed by the whole of the count's plump figure, in
Marya Dmitrievna found expression only in her more and more beaming
face and quivering nose. But if the count, getting more and more
into the swing of it, charmed the spectators by the unexpectedness
of his adroit maneuvers and the agility with which he capered about on
his light feet, Marya Dmitrievna produced no less impression by slight
exertions- the least effort to move her shoulders or bend her arms
when turning, or stamp her foot- which everyone appreciated in view of
her size and habitual severity. The dance grew livelier and
The other couples could not attract a moment's attention
to their own evolutions and did not even try to do so. All were
watching the count and Marya Dmitrievna. Natasha kept pulling everyone
by sleeve or dress, urging them to "look at Papa!" though as it was
they never took their eyes off the couple. In the intervals of the
dance the count, breathing deeply, waved and shouted to the
musicians to play faster. Faster, faster, and faster; lightly, more
lightly, and yet more lightly whirled the count, flying round Marya
Dmitrievna, now on his toes, now on his heels; until, turning his
partner round to her seat, he executed the final pas, raising his soft
foot backwards, bowing his perspiring head, smiling and making a
wide sweep with his arm, amid a thunder of applause and laughter led
by Natasha. Both partners stood still, breathing heavily and wiping
their faces with their cambric handkerchiefs.
"That's how we used to dance in our time, ma chere," said the count.
Dancing with "The Barynya Balalaika Orchestra"
Photo credit: Walter Fekula
BARYNYA BALALAIKA ORCHESTRA PETROUSHKA BALL 2007
Barynya Balalaika Orchestra, Petroushka Ball, Hotel Plaza, New York City
Russian Balalaika Duo - program of Russian, Ukrainian, Gypsy, Cossack, Klezmer, and international music and songs performed on balalaika, garmoshka and guitars. New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania. video