Other names: Lidiya Vasilyevna Lopukhova
Lopokova entered the Imperial Ballet School at St Petersburg in
1901, graduating into the Imperial Ballet at the Maryinsky Theatre at St
Petersburg in 1909. In 1910 she joined the dance company formed by Serge
Diaghilev and she quickly established her career as a successful dancer
in Russia. She went to America on an eight-month contract with her
siblings who were also dancers, and afterwards, remained there and continued
to dance in other ballet groups. She also began
to take on work as an actress. Diaghilev began to send his dancers to
America in 1916 and Lopokova rejoined his company as his leading dancer.
She married Randolfo Barocchi, Diaghilev's business manager, in 1916.
From then on she performed in Europe and North and South America and achieved great
fame and success, thanks to roles created for her by Léonide Massine,
such as those in The Good-Humoured Ladies (1917–18) and La
boutique fantasque (1919). In 1919 she left her husband suddenly and abandoned
ballet, but returned to Diaghilev's company in Paris in 1921 as one of
the stars of the London production of Sleeping Beauty. The economist John
Maynard Keynes had become a great admirer of hers and
her to the Bloomsbury group, of which he was a member. Her relationship
with members of the group proved to be difficult.
She received her divorce from Barocchi in 1925 and married Keynes that
year, despite the disapproval of his friends. A devoted wife, Lopokova
accompanied her husband during his trips abroad. They lived together
mostly at Tilton in Sussex and she cared for him during his period of
poor health, up until his death.
Place of birth: St Petersburg, Russia
Place of second marriage: St Pancras, London
Place of death: Seaford, near Tilton, Sussex
1. H.C. Matthew, Harrison et al. Oxford Dictionary of National
Biography. Oxford, New York: Oxford
University Press, 2004-2018.
2. Encyclopaedia Britannica. Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica,
3. H. Suzzallo, ed.-in-chief. The National Encyclopedia, vol. 6. New
York: P.F. Collier & Son Company.