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


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#76 dirac

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 09:12 PM

It's actually Joan Acocella's take, not Croce's (and since New Yorker profiles are a well-known genre unto themselves, I guess it should be noted it's not a profile, but an obit). Sorry, Neryssa. :)

Not to take this topic off topic, but I also noted Acocella's side remark on Farrell, and I think it is true only in part, or at least not without a lot of qualification. It's quite true that Farrell's peak years were a boom time in dance criticism as well as dance, and she benefited by her position as the last and longest lasting of the muses, but there were observers like Robert Garis who saw decades of Balanchine dancers and still revered Farrell, and Farrell's influence extends beyond that as well. As I noted upthread, Tallchief has a strong argument for being the Greatest Muse of All, and that particular debate can't ever be settled, but Farrell has more going for her than good timing. (Acocella knows all this as well as anyone, of course, and she does add her own qualification with "partly.")

#77 Jack Reed

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 12:17 PM

[size=4]I especially loved [the] verbal snapshot of Tallchief -- intense, devoted to every detail of presentation -- coaching a very young Jennie Somogyi in "Pas de Dix" back in 1995.[/size]
[size=4]

[/size]
[size=4]Everybody know there's a video snapshot of her coaching Scotch Symphony [/size][size=4]on YouTube at the moment? (Thanks for posting the Acocella obit. Although I found Bruhn's emergence as a kind of male femme fatale entertaining, [/size][size=4]I found the personal stuff a bit much also[/size][size=4].)[/size]

#78 dirac

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 09:30 AM

I had the impression that Nureyev was the fatal one, myself....

The stuff about Tallchief's love life is not new. (I'd question whether the Balanchine-Tallchief union was entirely sexless, though.) But then I'm always curious about how successful women negotiate the shoals of male-female relations.

Allegra Kent reports an exchange with Tallchief in her book which might sum up the matter. Kent is coping with Bert issues and Tallchief tells her, "Husbands come and go. Your dancing is what's important." (From memory.)

#79 Ann

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 05:09 PM

Is it too late to add a UK radio obituary for Ms Tallchief? The BBC's Radio Four has recently launched an excellent on-air obituary programme called 'Last Words' and last Friday's included a piece on Maria Tallchief, with contributions from her daughter and from the FT's veteran dance writer Clement Crisp (who has nothing new to add to what is already known about her but whose words are nevertheless intersting). The piece is second to last in the half-hour programme - there's probably a way to skip to it but I'm not one of nature's tekkies, so I can't advise...

lastword_20130426-1226b.mp3

#80 Neryssa

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 02:38 PM

It's actually Joan Acocella's take, not Croce's (and since New Yorker profiles are a well-known genre unto themselves, I guess it should be noted it's not a profile, but an obit). Sorry, Neryssa. Posted Image


Opps! My apologies.

Allegra Kent reports an exchange with Tallchief in her book which might sum up the matter. Kent is coping with Bert issues and Tallchief tells her, "Husbands come and go. Your dancing is what's important." (From memory.)

I like that quote too, dirac - and that's exactly how I remember it. However, the Greatest Muse debate (in my faulty and biased opinion) should be shelved because Balanchine was not the same man or choreographer in 1947 that he was in 1952/1957/1964/1972, etc. I like re-reading I Remember Balanchine because everybody had a different opinion. And had Diana Adams and Allegra Kent been nuptially available to Balanchine, who knows? In fact, if Balanchine had not endured Le Clercq's tragic illness (had she not contracted polio), I don't think the obsession with Farrell would have been so intense. I know it's more complicated than that but there were so many variables involved: his age, the new theater, etc. The media and people tend to focus on Farrell so I'm glad for the books that have been published recently by Barbara Bocher and Jacques D'Amboise which remind us just how obsessed Balanchine was with Le Clercq and Adams. Please forgive my rambling.
N.

#81 Ray

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 06:14 AM

Has anyone ever read "Tallchief in Orpheus" by Tallchief's daughter, the poet Elise Paschen?

Tallchief in Orpheus (1998)

You were all of twenty-three, married
to Balanchine. The nights he spent,
absorbed, at work on “Orpheus”
you felt alone, and stayed at home,
stitching an Indian patterned skirt.
But when you danced Eurydice’s
last pas de deux, you wrapped your arms
and legs around your poet husband,
“Orpheus,” willing him to look
into your eyes. As Balanchine
wrote, “tormented because she cannot
be seen by the man she loves.”

Attempting to seduce, you dance
the dance till finally he tears
away his mask, and you collapse
to earth and die. During rehearsal
Stravinsky asked, “How long to die?”
In the score he scratched five long counts.

The time of the ballet, “the time
of sand and snakes,” “of Greek earth legends”
wrote Balanchine. And Kirsten saw
(describing their Gluck’s “Orpheus”)
“the eternal domestic tragedy
between an artist and his wife.”

Your husband, armed with song, lays siege,
enchants the gods to claim you back,
vowing he will not look. But you
persuade him. Therefore Orpheus
throws off his mask, and loses you.
His mask becomes a lyre.

Mother, when I was young, I watched
you from the wings and saw the sweat
dripping from arms and neck, your gasp
for breath. I thought it was your last.
But no. You’d towel off, and then
step into the spotlight, smiling.

#82 Ray

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 06:19 AM

Also, on a much smaller level, I wonder how future biographers will track Tallchief's years in Chicago, as an artistic director. I notice in her most recent autobiography, she doesn't spend much time discussing the work she did there, both at the Lyric Opera and Chicago City Ballet (which she co-directed with Paul Mejia). Those of us who danced for her have got to start writing things down, I guess!

#83 sandik

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 08:09 AM

Those of us who danced for her have got to start writing things down, I guess!


Yes!

And, if I may extend that, we all need to be writing things down. What we saw and what we thought about it. Some of you know that I'm a dance critic, but my colleagues and I are only covering a certain amount of the field. (and as we struggle through this transition from older , print-based work to the newer electronic paradigms, we can write about even less). When I've worked in dance history, the personal narratives (diaries, letters, miscellaneous comments) have in many cases been just as revelatory as the formal published criticism.

#84 Michael

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 09:26 AM

Getting back to all the video - what I see is such a delicately beautiful, yielding, feminine quality - alas missing today in these same ballets. She was one of the greats.

#85 Jack Reed

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 11:10 AM

... her most recent autobiography ...


Can you tell us what's different in the 2005 edition you linked to from the the 1997 First Edition?

But I agree, we see in her dancing here a dimension rarely seen on stage today.

#86 Paul Parish

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 11:15 AM

Thank you Ray, for posting that poem.
Wonderful insight.

#87 Ray

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 10:24 AM

Jack: no, sorry; I'll have to take a deeper look.

#88 Neryssa

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 08:37 AM

Two tribute videos:

 

 

 



#89 pherank

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 10:17 PM

Jennifer Homans has written an end-of-year memorium to Maria Tallchief for the NY Times:

 

Maria Tallchief - The Osage dancer who took Paris by storm.

http://www.nytimes.c...mariatallchief/

 

 

 

The French were won over: “The daughter of an Indian Chief dances at the Opera!” one banner headline read. Audiences accustomed to a more refined French style saw something open and free in her dancing. Balanchine and Tallchief did not stay in Paris, and Lifar, still embattled, soon returned to his post. Yet the import of the moment was clear: Paris may have been liberated by French and American forces, but the Paris Opera was liberated by George Balanchine and Maria Tallchief.



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