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Maria Tallchief, RIPsad news tweeted by an individual involved with the NIKOLAI play


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#16 Dale

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 08:15 AM

A great ballerina. My mother saw her dance many times and never forgot her. I witnessed several coaching lectures she gave. Her carriage and the imagery she spoke of always had an instant effect on the dancers. During one of the symposiums Jacques d'Amboise paid tribute to her:

“We never had an international ballet star in America until Maria. What made it more magnificent was that she was a true Native American. There was Danilova, but she was Russian, and Alonso, but she was Cuban. Maria was our first star. And it was “Firebird” that launched her in that stratosphere.”

#17 Amy Reusch

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 08:26 AM

When Balanchine was at the Paris Opera, was not Tallchief with him and dancing? Was she the first American to do so? Also, wasn't Nureyev's North American debut with Tallchief? (Please correct me if I'm wrong... I don't trust my memory)



Augusta Maywood was first on the stage at POB,(1839) , but perhaps Tallchief was next? (Thanks, Nancy, for joggingbmy memory). http://michaelminn.n...aywood_augusta/



#18 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 08:42 AM

The Washington Post:

www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/maria-tallchief-baallet-star-who-was-inspiration-for-balanchine-dies-at-88/2013/04/12/5888f3de-c5dc-11df-94e1-c5afa35a9e59_story.html

#19 Ray

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 09:35 AM

The Washington Post:

www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/maria-tallchief-baallet-star-who-was-inspiration-for-balanchine-dies-at-88/2013/04/12/5888f3de-c5dc-11df-94e1-c5afa35a9e59_story.html


A better obit than the Chicago one.

#20 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 10:47 AM

And from the NY Times:

http://www.nytimes.c...?pagewanted=all

#21 pherank

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 12:18 PM

And from the NY Times:
http://www.nytimes.c...?pagewanted=all


The NY Times link has changed to:
http://www.nytimes.c...dies-at-88.html

#22 Jayne

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 01:27 PM

[size=4]Watching the youtube videos, you can't take your eyes off of her. She was never boring, that's for sure. More importantly, she always looked like she was having a ball on stage. [/size]

#23 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 01:31 PM

The story in the Huffington Post has a slideshow with some wonderful photos -

http://www.huffingto...lide=more291682

#24 Neryssa

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 01:48 PM

[size=3][font=times new roman,times,serif]

The story in the Huffington Post has a slideshow with some wonderful photos -

http://www.huffingto...lide=more291682

[/font][/size]
[size=3][font=times new roman,times,serif]Thank you for this link but does photo no. 16 look like Tallchief?[/font][/size]

[size=3][font=times new roman,times,serif]Anyway, I was shaken by the news of her death even though she lived a long and productive life. Another great Balanchine muse gone...[/font][/size]

#25 pherank

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 01:59 PM

The NYTimes.com front page has the following lead in:

Maria Tallchief, Balanchine Ballerina, Dies
Ms. Tallchief, a daughter of an Oklahoma oil family, found her way to New York and became one of the most brilliant American ballerinas of the century. She was 88.

I take exception to the declaration that all her importance lies with Balanchine - there's nothing without Balanchine! - which is just wrong. I'm an admirer of Balanchine the artist, but these other people had lives, and long careers, and there is so much more to a life than "they danced under Balanchine". I've always thought of Tallchief as being the first American Prima Ballerina. That's big. That's enough. She also happened to have been trained by Russians, and danced with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and so had a Russian-style of stage presence that wasn't seen in any of the following Amercian dancers - a grandes dame.

And her father was never an "oil man" to my knowledge. When oil was found on Osage lands, they eventually sold out, "packed up the truck, and moved to Beverly - HIlls that is." Very American.

#26 Alexandra

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 03:37 PM

It is sad news indeed. And important news, though it' wasnot even mentioned on national news tonight (CBS, PBS). A very great ballerina. An American Indian ballerina. They could give her 30 seconds.

I never saw her dance. I've seen the clips posted here, and thank you all very much for posting them. We now have a lovely Tallchief archive.

RIP, Ms. Tallchief.

#27 dirac

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 03:42 PM

Respectfully, pherank, Tallchief was the cornerstone of Balanchine’s young company, which company became one of the greatest in the world if not the greatest, and one of his wives. It’s unsurprising that she should be identified as his ballerina and I don’t think Tallchief would have expected anything else. That is the fate of the muse, for better and worse. Tallchief would also be the first to say that she was transformed by Balanchine’s training. This doesn’t take away from Tallchief’s own personality and gifts. No question she was on the rise in the Ballets Russes, and she might have become America’s first prima without Balanchine. She might also have become an artist as well as a star without Balanchine, but certainly a different one. And Tallchief is also part of ballet history not only because of her status as America’s first international ballet star but because qualities unique to her inspired Balanchine to create a series of classic ballerina roles – not only the new ones made on Tallchief but his recreations of canonical ballerina roles such as those in Swan Lake and Nutcracker just for her. That’s a tribute to Tallchief, not a denigration.

Certainly other aspects of her career shouldn’t be neglected, though, and I think the obits so far could have spent more time on her years as an artistic director.

I guess calling the Tall Chiefs an oil family is misleading in that they weren’t Rockefellers, but I think it was just a quick way of indicating where their money came from.

#28 Neryssa

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 04:46 PM

It is sad news indeed. And important news, though it' wasnot even mentioned on national news tonight (CBS, PBS). A very great ballerina. An American Indian ballerina. They could give her 30 seconds.


They did mention her on CBS and even showed a clip from Swan Lake. I am sad that the other networks did not mention her. I am surprised PBS did not even cite her death but instead did a profile on Jonathan Winters who was also born in 1925.

#29 pherank

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 05:09 PM

Respectfully, pherank, Tallchief was the cornerstone of Balanchine’s young company, which company became one of the greatest in the world if not the greatest, and one of his wives. It’s unsurprising that she should be identified as his ballerina and I don’t think Tallchief would have expected anything else.


Ah, but would she have wanted something more? ;)

That their lives, and careers, were intertwined, I think is obvious to us all. My sore point was just in the NY Times labeling. This person's life has ended, and who were they? A "Balanchine ballerina". Not a bad thing at all, but it doesn't explain why she needs to be mentioned on the front page of the Times.

In your words, "Tallchief was the cornerstone of Balanchine’s young company". So of course there's more to the story than just Balanchine's contribution. I see this type of headline in the arts press everyday: people being identified according to their relation to Balanchine, or Diaghilev. The practice is lazy and superficial, imo, and it just makes gods out of B and D but doesn't actually do so much for everyone else involved in the art.

#30 Drew

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 05:26 PM

As one of the most important American Ballerinas and, too, specifically for her role as a history-making Balanchine Ballerina,Tallchief deserves every accolade. I never saw her except in video clips--which do indicate what a thrilling, beautiful dancer she was. RIP.


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