In March 2020 ensemble Barynya performed twelve shows at schools in San Antonio, Texas. Cast of performers included dancer/singer Valentina Kvasova, musician/singer Mikhail Smirnov and dancer Sergey Tsyganok. Program of performances included Russian, Ukrainian, Cossack, Gypsy and Jewish songs and dances with accompaniment of Russian folk button accordion garmoshka. The tour was made possible by Musical Bridges Around the World, organization that introduces the best and brightest artistic talent from across the globe to inspire audiences with dynamic, unparalleled excellence in the performing arts.
List of schools where performances took place:
Monday, March 2nd, 2020, 8:30am. Price Elementary school, 245 Price Avenue, San Antonio, TX 78211
Monday, March 2nd, 2020, 9:45am. Five Palms Elementary school, 245 Price Avenue, San Antonio, TX 78211
Monday, March 2nd, 2020, 1:45pm. Hutchins Elementary School, 1919 W Hutchins Pl, San Antonio, TX 78224
Tuesday, March 3, 2020, 8:30am. Benavidez Elementary School, 8340 Interstate 35 Access Road, San Antonio, TX 78224
Tuesday, March 3, 2020, 10:00am. Athens Elementary School, 2707 W. Gerald. San Antonio, TX 78211
Tuesday, March 3, 2020, 1:10pm. Kindred Elementary school, 7811 Kindred St, San Antonio, TX 78224
Tuesday, March 3, 2020, 2:05pm. Palo Alto Elementary School, 1725 Palo Alto Rd. San Antonio, TX 78211
Wednesday, March 4, 2020, 8:00am. SST Discovery School, 5707 Bandera Rd. Leon Valley, TX 78238
Wednesday, March 4, 2020, 1:00pm. Kriewald Elementary School, 10355 Kriewald Rd., San Antonio, TX 78245
Wednesday, March 4, 2020, 2:15pm. Southwest Elementary School, 11914 Dragon Lane, Bldg. 1000., San Antonio, TX 78252
Thursday, March 5, 2020, 8:30am. JT Brakenbridge School, 1214 Guadalupe St., San Antonio, TX 78207
Thursday, March 5, 2020, 1:30pm. Devine Intermediate School, 900 Atkins Ave., Devine, TX 78016
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 VALENTINA KVASOVA
Valentina Kvasova is a professional dancer specializing in Russian, Cossacks, Ukrainian, and Russian Gypsy (Roma) traditional dances. Valentina Anatolievna Kvasova was born in Russia, in the city of Rostov-na-Donu, Cossack' s Capital of Russia, on August 25, 1976. After finishing of the formal education in Voronezh Choreographic School in 1994 she has been invited to Rostov Don Cossacks State Academic Song and Dance Ensemble as the actress of ballet. Professional skills and great talent let Valentina join the concert program in a short period of time and soon to become soloist of the ensemble. Kvasova Valentina successfully performed with The Don Cossacks in Russia, Japan, Spain, Hungary, the republic of South Africa, the USA and other countries. Valentina equally manages roles of lyrical, playful or comic characters. The dynamical, bright, sociable, talented person, she is having recognition among professionals. In the United States Valentina Kvasova was a part of the Riverdance's "Flying Squad" project (2008). She has joined Russian folk dance and music ensemble Barynya in 2004 as a dancer and singer. In 2005 she has become a dance captain, in 2008 - a choreographer. She also performs with various groups including New York Gypsy Trio, Cossack Spirit, and solo.
About 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.
12-01-2020. Virtual performance for Musical Bridges Around the World "Facebook Live for Giving Tuesday" event in San Antonio
On Tuesday, December 1st, 2020 Elina Karokhina (balalaika) and Mikhail Smirnov (garmoshka, guitar, vocals) provided brief virtual performance for Musical Bridges Around the World Facebook Live for Giving Tuesday! Mission to support and bring multicultural performing and visual arts in San Antonio, Texas and beyond. Musicians performed two Russian winter songs and answered a few questions.