“The Russian Muse of the English Economist”. The second lecture of the series “Women of the Russian Immigration of 1917-1939. Forgotten Names and Lives”

11 February 2020

The Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund invites you to attend the second lecture of the series “Women of the Russian Immigration of 1917-1939. Forgotten Names and Lives”, which will take place in Moscow on February 19.

The name of immigrant, ballet dancer Lydia Vasilyevna Lopukhova (Lopokova), who was performing brilliantly in the Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes and who in 1925 married famous economist John Maynard Keynes – a founder of the theory of microeconomics as an independent research area, which later received the name of Keynesian economics – today is almost forgotten.

This being said, Lydia Lopokova (she was known abroad by this name) during her years of immigration became not only one of the brightest representatives of the Russian ballet abroad in 1917-939, but also an ambassador of the Russian culture in Great Britain, who contributed a lot into popularization of the Russian national art, understanding of it and mutual perception. Thus, after finishing her career of a ballet dancer, in 1932 Lydia Lopokova was presenting on BBC radio a series of memoirs about immigrants-representatives of the Russian ballet; starting from 1938 she was hosting her own show on the English radio about the creative heritage of Chekhov, Dostoevsky, Gorky and others; in 1943 she was a commentator of the radio show version of Tolstoy’s “War and Peace”.

In everyday life Lydia Lopokova never forgot about her roots, Russian national traditions, she was very careful about preserving the spoken Russian language during the years of the immigration and was known for her eccentric unwillingness to learn English. Writer Herbert Wells said about Lydia Lopokova: “She was not just smart for a ballet dancer, but she was smarter than anybody else and Keynes had the best brain in the country…”

Who was Lydia Vasilyevna Lopukhina (Lopokova)? Who did the extravagant “Russian muse of the English economist” become in the history of the Russian immigration diaspora in Great Britain of the 20th century? How was she perceived by her contemporaries? These and many other questions will be answered during the next lecture of the series “Women of the Russian Immigration of 1917-1939. Forgotten Names and Lives”.

Lecture “The Russian Muse of the English Economist: Ballet Dancer Lydia Lopokova in the History of Cultural Mutual Perception of Russian and Great Britain in the 1st half of the 21st Century" will be given by Dr. Olga Barkova, Associate Professor of the Faculty of Law at School of State Audit of Lomonosov Moscow State University.

Venue: Gorchakov Fund (10/1 Yakovoapostolsky pereulok, Moscow).

The event will start on February 19 at 6:30 pm Moscow time (registration will open at 6:00 pm Moscow time).

The language of the event is Russian (without interpretation).

The number of seats is limited.