Barynya comes to Glenwood |

Barynya comes to Glenwood

Stina Sieg
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Courtesy photo Russian folk dance and music troupe, Barynya, will kick up its heels Tuesday night in Glenwood " and kick off the start of the Glenwood Community Concert Association's season.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” In a way, it doesn’t matter where Mikhail Smirnov and his troupe of Russian folk dancers and musicians go ” they get the same kind of reaction everywhere. And it’s one of absolute fascination. For nearly the last 20 years, Barynya, in which Smirnov is a musician and artistic director, has traveled as far as China, Canada and England. Currently, it’s on a two-month, 40-stop tour of the United States. All over, this Russian-born U.S. citizen senses the same kind of fascination from folks. Audiences just eat up the music, costumes and dance ” and Smirnov couldn’t be happier about it. This troupe has been his life for more than 1,000 performances so far, after all.

“I was performing since I was a little child, and when I was little, I was in a boy’s choir in Moscow and then I went to the University of Culture and Arts as a choir director. And in the United States I founded this group in 1991.”

“The traditional music and dancing is like a universal language. … Russian dancing is very happy and energetic, and it’s a very fun performance. So nobody cries. It’s just kind of educational and dancing and fun fore everyone. … It’s like a good salad. Everybody wants that.”

“This is the only thing I can do, pretty much, so I had no choice. It was my training at the University to do the traditional singing and dancing, so that’s why I started the group.”

“They will see about 100 different costumes, and we have costume characters, Russian bear, gypsy fortune teller. We have Siberian fighters. It’s a very interesting show. We get to utilize one, two, three, four, five folk instruments during the show.”

“Yes, my favorite instrument is garmoshka (Russian folk accordion). It’s very easy to play (laughing).”

“It’s a Russian bear. The Russian bear, when he comes out on the stage and starts dancing. It’s a huge doll, our biggest dancer is hiding inside of the bear. He goes out into the audience and people just love it. Especially kids.”

“I think Colorado is going to be our favorite. We’re heard about the hot springs, and it sounds like a very interesting place.”

“On Sept. 18, we performed at the gala at the (National) Constitutional Center in Philadelphia, and former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev was awarded a medal of peace and $100,000, and the older Bush, the good Bush, was there. It was a huge gala dinner, and we were the main attraction.”

“After the show, people will be able to know what Russian folk culture is like because we’re going to show them everything. We are going to show them dancing. We are going to show them instruments. We are going to show them everything. We are going to show them everything about Russian culture, traditional culture.”

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