Studies of the American dancer Isadora Duncan’s work have a century-long history in Russia and the United States, and can be considered as a prism through which the main landmarks of the dance scholarship as well as political (and foreign-policy related) issues become apparent.

Because Duncan was a spouse of the great Russian poet Sergey Esenin in the 1920s, her real worth has been veiled from the Russian public. Another factor which had been an obstacle for the understanding of her significance was the Soviet ideology, which excluded Duncan along with many other avant-garde artists from the mass consciousness for many decades, despite the successful work of her Moscow school in 1921-1929 and her passionate propaganda of Soviet achievements abroad. American scholars approached objective evaluations of Duncan’s activities only at the end of the 1970s, owing to her collaboration with the Soviet Union and loss of her American citizenship in the 1920s.

Elena Yushkova, Senior Lecturer, Vologda Branch of Moscow Academy for Humanities, and former Fulbright Kennan Research Scholar, showed the evolution of Duncan studies in the United States and Russia during the last century and also revealed political factors which impeded the research of this outstanding personality and her work.