Thanks for posting this. I never saw Tallchief, but I know she meant a great deal to those who did. And she has written an autobiography, as I'm sure you know, and got a lot of recognition when that came out. There was a lovely article about Beriosova in the British publication Dance Now that came out about two months ago -- and I wouldn't be surprised to learn that it had been commissioned because they were aware she was ill.
Your idea about honoring people while they're still alive to enjoy it does happen in some parts of the world. In Copenhagen (and undoubtedly in other European capitals) peope are honored with birthday tributes every decade, starting at the age of 40, if you're truly famous or have pull, and on up (50, 60, 70, etc.) I think it's a lovely tradition. I don't know if we ever had it and lost it, or if it's a modern invention of theirs, but whatever, it's a nice way not only to honor the birthday boys and girls, but to let the city keep aware of who is important in their public life.
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