Orlando Figes is Professor of History at Birkbeck College, University of London. He was born in London in 1959 and studied history at Cambridge. Before moving to Birkbeck he was a University Lecturer in History and Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. He is the author of Peasant Russia, Civil War and A People's Tragedy, which in 1997 won the Wolfson History Prize, the WH Smith Literary Award, the Longman/History Today Book of the Year Award, the NCR Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His last book, Natasha's Dance: A Cultural History of Russia was published to great acclaim in 2002 and was shortlisted for the BBC FOUR Samuel Johnson Prize.
Natasha's Dance: A Cultural History of Russia (Allen Lane)
Vast in scale and woven through with extraordinary stories and characters, Natasha’s Dance ranges from the splendour of eighteenth century St Petersburg to the power of Stalinist propaganda, from folk art to the magic rituals of Asiatic shamans, from the poetry of Pushkin to the music of Musorgsky and the films of Eisenstein, bringing to life an extraordinary cast of serf artists and aristocrats, revolutionaries and exiles, priests and libertines. Beautifully written and gloriously vivid, Natasha's Dance is a triumphant assertion of the greatness of Russia's culture and the remarkable lives of those who have shaped it.