Russian Duo

Russian Duo

The Russian Duo is available for educational concerts, workshops, residencies, and lecture-demonstrations. Terry been teaching children and adults since 1977. She is a Teaching Artist with the Ohio Arts Council and has been on the Young Audiences of Northeast Ohio roster for 13 years. She is a licensed Dalcroze Eurhythmics teacher and has certification in Orff Schulwerk. She was in the first group of Ohio artists to be trained by the Kennedy Center for the Arts “Artists as Educators” program. Oleg has toured in 45 of the United States and has taught workshops in conjunction with his concerts.

Russian Duo is an international project, born out of a love of traditional music and classical elegance. Oleg Kruglyakov, balalaika virtuoso, and Terry Boyarsky, masterful pianist, have teamed up for exuberant performances of soulful, passionate music. Their collaboration highlights the mysterious sounds of the balalaika underscored by the vast expressive range of the piano. Featuring vocals and Russian percussion, their extensive repertoire draws from Russian folk music, romances, dances, classical music, gypsy melodies and Russian songs.


  3003 Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland Heights, OH 44118




Program description

There is nothing more quintessentially Russian than the three-horse-drawn carriage known as the troika. Students learn the folk dance “Troika” with ethnomusicologist Terry, and perform it to balalaika music played by Siberian-born Oleg. Students will understand the era in Russia when troikas were used in a sophisticated mail relay system and contrast it to today’s communication systems. A brief power point underscores the imperative of teamwork in the troika, and demonstrates the derivations of our dance. While dancing and accompanying each other with Russian percussion instruments and lots of bells, students also learn about counting beats, form/structure, and patterns.

Booking / scheduling contact

Terry Boyarsky


Program detail
Artistic discipline: Dance, Music
Cultural Origin: Other
Program type: Residency
Population served: Grade 2, Grade 3, Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6
Subject: Music, Social Studies / History
Bilingual: No
Available dates:

All year – block booking required.

Available times:


Length of program: 45 minutes
Space / technical requirements:

Large open empty space appropriate for 45 children to dance. Power outlet for Russian Duo’s sound system.

Fees / Ticketing:

$350 for each dance workshop. Packages available if done in conjunction with Russian Duo’s Concert "Russia & Beyond."


NC Standard Course of Study:

SL1 – Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively. By learning two authentic Russian folk dances and accompanying ourselves with Russian percussion instruments, students experience teamwork in action. Our first dance is in groups of three, the second is a partner dance. These configurations along with the choreography of the dance make for some interesting “discussions” as students negotiation the learning process.

SL2 – Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally. We use a short power point with attractive pictures of the Troika (a 3-horse drawn sled, developed for speed in Old Russia), on which the dance is based. We give students a historical and cultural (Russian) perspective on communication, comparing mail relay systems vs. today’s snail mail and e-mail. The second dance, “Sasha!” allows us to present other facets of Russian culture which can be compared and contrasted to American culture.

SL4 – Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. Learning a dance is a complicated sequence, requiring lots of instruction, direction and attention. To coordinate all the dancers, percussionists, and live musicians (Oleg on balalaika), students are involved in an interesting planning process which unfolds every step of the learning.

NC Essential Standards:

Musical Response K-8.MR.1 – Understand the interacting elements to respond to music and music performances. Learning a folk dance requires understanding the form and structure of music. It requires a practical understanding of specific musical concepts through counting, phrasing and playing Russian Percussion instruments.

Music Contextual Relevancy K-8.CR.1 – Understand global, interdisciplinary, and 21st century connections with music. By learning Russian Folk Dances students will understand and experience the importance of communication (mail relay) and teamwork (the 3-horse drawn carriage, as well as the dance with 3 people), both historically and practically.

Musical Literacy K-8.ML.1 – Apply the elements of music and musical techniques in order to sing and play music with accuracy and expression. When we perform with percussion instruments (8 different instruments, with about 20 available), students must understand how to make music together and not just make noise. We learn how to play in the same tempo, use the same beat, and get the best sound out of each of the different instruments. The percussion has to blend with the balalaika as well as the dancers.


Conducts educational programming for 2 or more years: Yes
Performs criminal background checks on staff with youth contact: Yes
Provides study guides for teachers and or students: Yes
Connects to State and or Common Core Curriculum Standards: Yes
Provides tools to assess student learning (workshops and residencies): Yes
Conducts ongoing assessments of program quality: Yes
Cancellation Policy

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