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Thread: American prima ballerina Maria Tallchief dies at 88

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    Jan 2008

    Default American prima ballerina Maria Tallchief dies at 88

    American prima ballerina Maria Tallchief dies at 88 - Chicago Sun-Times

    At a time when most ballerinas arrived onstage bearing a Russian name, whether genuine or assumed, Maria Tallchief, widely considered the first major American prima ballerina, insisted on holding fast to her roots.
    Born Elizabeth Maria Tallchief in Fairfax, Oklahoma in 1925, her mother was Scots-Irish, but her father, Alexander Tallchief, was a chief in the Osage Nation, and her great-grandfather, Peter Bigheart, was crucial in negotiating oil revenues for the Osage tribe.
    Tallchief, a leading figure in 20th century dance, whose career spanned the years 1942-1965, and who at one time was both wife and muse to choreographer George Balanchine, died of pancreatic cancer at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago on April 11. She was 88.

    The rest of the obit is at the link.

    Here is a segment from a documentary about her life which shows some clips from her extraordinary Firebird performances which was her great Balanchine role-
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    Elite Member Bluebonnet's Avatar
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    Sep 2009


    Aw! Bless her.

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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Feb 2007


    So graceful and she was a true beauty. Made the best of what she had with grace and confidence.
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

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    Feb 2008
    In the "D"


    My, she was so so lovely.
    Life is short. Break the Rules. Forgive Quickly. Kiss Slowly. Love Truly.
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    Gold Member Catty's Avatar
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    Nov 2010


    She is so lovely to watch.

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    Gold Member Lalasnake's Avatar
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    Feb 2008


    She was so graceful! RIP.

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