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Valley News Dispatch

Renowned Russian ensemble to perform at Penn State New Kensington

Madasyn Czebiniak
| Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018, 6:57 p.m.

The world-renowned Russian music, dance and song ensemble Barynya will perform at Penn State New Kensington next month as part of the school’s annual Country of Focus series.

The event is scheduled for 12:15 to 1:10 p.m. Nov. 7 at the Penn State New Kensington Theatre. It is free and open to the public.

Michele Marcks, assistant director of student affairs, said students picked the group to perform after seeing them at an Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities event in March.

“They really enjoyed the dance,” she said.

Founded in New York City in 1991, Barynya is directed by Mikhail Smirnov, a professional Russian folk singer, performer and musician.

The 20-person ensemble has done shows in countries all over the world, including the United States, Lithuania, Canada, Australia, China and Mexico. Members perform Russian, Tatar, Cossack, Siberian Nanai, Ukrainian, Roma Gypsy Tsyganskiy and Evreiskiy Jewish traditional dancing, music and songs. They also play instruments such as the domra, balalaika, balalaika-contrabass and garmoshka. Each dance is performed in a different set of costumes, which were all hand-made in Russia.

Smirnov said the Penn State New Kensington event will feature four Barynya members.

Marcks hopes the event will allow people to understand and appreciate Russian culture.

“Really getting that global experience without having to go anywhere should be pretty neat,” she said.

Madasyn Czebiniak is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Madasyn at 724-226-4702, mczebiniak@tribweb.com, or via Twitter @maddyczebstrib.

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