Diaghilev's Ballets Russes

Diaghilev's Ballets Russes

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This Blog is dedicated to preserving and celebrating the history and memories of Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, its legendary ballet dancers, choreographers, scenery artists, musicians and composers.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Lydia Lopokova Birthday Oct. 21, 1892

Lydia Lopokova was born in St. Petersburg, Russia on October 21, 1892. All of her siblings became ballet dancers, and one of them, Fyodor Lopukhov, was a chief choreographer of the Mariinsky Theatre from 1922-1935 and 1951-1956.

Lydia trained at the Imperial Ballet School. She left Russia in 1910, joining the Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. She stayed with the ballet briefly, leaving for the United States after the summer tour. She rejoined Diaghilev's Ballets Russes in 1916, dancing with her former partner Vaslav Nijinsky, in New York and later in London. She first came to the attention of Londoners in The Good-Humoured Ladies in 1918, and followed this with a raucous performance with Léonide Massine in the Can-Can of La Boutique Fantasque.

When her marriage to the company's business manager, Randolfo Barrochi, broke down in 1919, the dancer abruptly disappeared, but she decided to rejoin the Diaghilev for the second time in 1921, when she danced the Lilac Fairy and Princess Aurora in 'The Sleeping Princess'. During these years she became a friend of Stravinsky, and of Picasso, who drew her many times.

Lydia was known also as Lady Keynes, the wife of the economist John Maynard Keynes. In 1933, Lydia danced her last ballet role, as Swanilda in Coppélia, for the new Vic-Wells Ballet.

Read about her and her life in Bloomsbury book Ballerina.

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