In February 2020 ensemble Barynya performed six shows at schools in Pennsylvania. Cast of performers included dancer Arsinty Oskeen, dancer Sergey Tsyganok, balalaika virtuoso/dancer Elina Karokhina, musician/singer Mikhail Smirnov. Program of all performances included Russian, Ukrainian, Cossack, Tatar, Gypsy and Jewish dances, music and songs with accompaniment of balalaika, and Russian folk button accordion garmoshka. The tour was made possible by Class Act, one of the the largest most diversified performing artists and speakers organization that introduces the best and brightest artistic talent from across the United States to inspire audiences with dynamic, unparalleled excellence in the performing arts. List of schools where performances took place: February 20th, 2020, 1pm & 2pm. Mountain View Elementary School, 1010 Mountain View Dr, Greensburg, PA 15601 February 19th, 2020, 1:15 pm and 2:30 pm. Latrobe Elementary School, 20 Cedar St, Latrobe, PA 15650 Tuesday, February 18th, 2020, 1:15pm & 2:30pm. Baggaley Elementary School, 4080 Rte 982, Latrobe, PA 15650
Ukrainian dancer Sergey Tsyganok was born in 1982 in L'viv, Ukraine. He started dancing at the age of 6. His mother Liliya Yurievna Tsyganok was the artistic director of "Iskorka", largest children's dance ensemble in town. At his mom's group Sergey learned basics of ballet and folk choreography. In 1996 he started to study professional dance and choreography at the L'viv's State College of Culture and Arts and also started dancing with teens' traditional Ukrainian dance troupe "Karpaty" under direction of Honored Artist of Ukraine Mihailo Vanivsky. He graduated from L'viv's State College of Culture and Arts in 2002. During college years he was dancing with Jewish Dance Ensemble "Mazal Tov" and Polish Dance Troupe "L'vovyatsy" performing locally in Ukraine, and internationally. Mr. Tsyganok traveled all over Poland with concert tours. In 2003 he graduated with Diploma of completion special training in Polish Traditional dancing from Lyublin's University of Maria Skladovsky in Poland. In 2003 Sergey went to Egypt for a year and a half for a pop-dance contract in the city of Sharm El Shekh. After Egypt there was a contract in Dubai (United Arab Emirates) for one year in a Cabaret show similar to Paris' Moulen Rouge. In 2007 Sergey returned to Ukraine and worked for the famous choreographer Dmitry Kolyadenko. He was dancing and acting in television program "Chance" and doing concert tours in Ukraine. Then he found dance contract in Israel (3 months). In 2008 he started dancing modern choreography in Antalya, Turkey. After Turkey Serhey returned back to Dubai where he was dancing zseven days a week until 2012. After 2012 he joined danc team for about two years on cruise ships going around the world (traveled twice around the globe). In the summer 2014 Serhiy made his home in the United States of America. He started working with various Ukrainian groups, dance and music ensemble Barynya, Moscow Gypsy Army, Can-Can Cabaret Dance Show, and others. Serhiy speaks Ukrainian, Russian, Polish, and English.
About musician/singer MIKHAIL SMIRNOV
Mikhail Smirnov was born in Moscow, Russia. 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. 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. Ensemble Barynya is a world renowned group that enjoys exalting stature as the premier Russian folk ensemble outside of Russia. Under direction of Mr. Smirnov ensemble Barynya has become the most requested Russian folk song, dance and music company outside of Mother Russia.
About balalaika virtuoso Elina Karokhina
Balalaika virtuoso Elina Karokhina is #1 balalaika player in the United States. She was born in Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg), Russia and 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. In January 2015 Elina Karokhina was selected to perform the balalaika part with Mariinsky Theatre directed by famous Russian 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 six concerts at the Carnegie Hall in New York City as a part of "The Orchestra Rocks" production. In September 2016 he appeared at the Carnegie Hall again as a part of Moscow Gypsy Army representing rich musical culture of Eastern Europian Roma people. In January 2017 Elina was hired to play Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's "The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh" Suite at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. with the National Symphony Orchestra. All four performances were under direction of world-famous conductor Sir Mark Elder. In 2018 Elina was invited to perform as a Honored Guest Artist at the Balalaika and Domra Association of America 40th Jubilee Convention in Philadelphia. In October 2019 Elina was invited to perform during Emirates-Russian Week at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Virtual concerts of Russian dance, music and songs with ensemble Barynya
Due to the Covid-19 virus dancers and musicians of ensemble Barynya are offering virtual concerts for schools, libraries, festivals, and other venues. Performances are live-streamed via Zoom, FaceBook Live, YouTube.com, and other types of media.
September 11th, 2020. Recording of ensemble Barynya promo-video. Kings Bay YM-YWHA, Brooklyn, New York
Первый публичный концерт ансамбля "Барыня" после начала эпидемии КОВИД-19 состоялся в субботу, 22-ого августа 2020 года в Антермаер парке города Янкерс (штат Нью-Йорк). Untermyer Park and Gardens (остатки поместья Сэмюэля Дж. Унтермайера "Грейстон") - исторический городской общественный парк площадью 43 акра, расположенный в Йонкерсе, штат Нью-Йорк, в округе Вестчестер, к северу от Манхаттена. На концерте было примерно пятьдесят человек зрителей (строго по пригласительным билетам). Вся публика была в масках. Люди сидели друг от друга на расстоянии в шесть футов (примерно два метра). Прямая трансляция выступления шла для остальных подписчиков этой концертной серии через Фейсбук и YouTube. Басист ансамбля Леонид Брук (Leonid Bruk) записал видео выступления. Благодаря ему концерт можно посмотреть полностью от начала до конца.
Saturday, August 22nd, 2020, Untermyer Park and Gardens, Yonkers, New York, Mikhail Smirnov, Leonid Bruk, Elena Notkina, Natasha Stolichnaya, Frida Anuarbek, Maryia Zhukovich, Vladimir Nikitin, Elina Karokhina, Konstantin Tulinov, Katsiaryna Mileuskaya, Valentina Kvasova, Veronika Hunko