Natasha's Dance: A Cultural History of Russia takes the reader through Russia's development from the early 17th century up until the time of the Soviet Union, detailing not only political events, but the artistic ones that shaped Russia's culture as we know it today. Stravinsky, Eisentein, Gogol, Gorky, Tolstoy, Checkov, and many others are discussed in terms of their lives and impact on the culture as a whole.
As the story prograsses the reader learns how Russia reinvented itself, from a vast nation with no musical or literary canon to speak of, to one with an incredibly rich and important inheritance. We learn of how Peter the Great literally planned St. Petersburg and then built it in a manner of years. We also leanrn why Checkov's characters are always speaking in french, a must for all those who have been baffled by his usage of the language.
This report prepared by Caitlyn Quinn