She was an American prima ballerina when the concept hadn’t yet been invented. She was a First Lady of dance, not just for the ambassadorship she provided for American dancers to the rest of the ballet world, but also because she was the wife of one of ballet’s greatest, George Balanchine, for six years. But enough about George. Saving that legend for another time, because I’d rather spend this space celebrating, and mourning, the passage of one of the most extraordinary female performers, not to mention beautiful, spirited warrior woman, of this century.
Maria Tallchief, you are every bit the legend your Osage ancestors were. You are one of the dance world’s greats. We’ve lost you, but your memory will never die.
Check out this wonderful article and eulogy from the Chicago Tribune:
And check out this New York Times article that has several links to some of her best known performances: