Elizabeth Marie Tallchief was an American ballerina.
73 Facts About Maria Tallchief
Maria Tallchief was the first Native American to hold the rank, and is said to have revolutionized ballet.
Almost from birth, Maria Tallchief was involved in dance, starting formal lessons at age three.
Maria Tallchief spent the next five years with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, where she met choreographer George Balanchine.
When Balanchine co-founded what would become the New York City Ballet in 1946, Maria Tallchief became the company's first star.
Maria Tallchief traveled the world, becoming the first American to perform in Moscow's Bolshoi Theater.
Maria Tallchief made regular appearances on American TV before she retired in 1966.
Maria Tallchief served as director of ballet for the Lyric Opera of Chicago for most of the 1970s and debuted the Chicago City Ballet in 1981.
Maria Tallchief was honored by the people of Oklahoma with multiple statues and an honorific day.
Maria Tallchief was inducted in the National Women's Hall of Fame and received a National Medal of Arts.
In 1996, Maria Tallchief received a Kennedy Center Honor for lifetime achievements.
Maria Tallchief's life has been the subject of multiple documentaries and biographies.
Maria Tallchief's father had previously been married to a German immigrant and had three children from that marriage: Alexander; Frances ; and Thomas.
Maria Tallchief was determined that her daughters would not suffer the same fate.
Maria Tallchief found tumbling very difficult and eventually quit the class, but later in life put the skills to good use.
Maria Tallchief continued to study piano, appearing as a guest soloist with small symphony orchestras throughout high school.
At age 12, Maria Tallchief began to work with Bronislava Nijinska, a renowned choreographer who had recently opened her own studio in Los Angeles, and David Lichine, a choreographer and former dancer.
When Maria Tallchief was 15, Nijinska decided to stage three ballets in the Hollywood Bowl.
Maria Tallchief expected a lead role but instead was put in the corps de ballet.
Mia Slavenska took a shine to Maria Tallchief and arranged for her to audition for Serge Denham, director of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo.
Maria Tallchief had given up piano and wanted to go to college, but her father was against it.
Dancing in the movie was "not gratifying" and Maria Tallchief decided against making a career of it.
On her first day as a full member of the company, Maria Tallchief was surprised to find Nijinska had come to town to stage Chopin Concerto with Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo.
Maria Tallchief soon cast Tallchief as first ballerina Nathalie Krassovska's understudy for the lead role.
When Maria Tallchief was surprisingly promoted by Nijinska, she became the primary target of their animosity.
Maria Tallchief practiced whenever she could, earning a reputation as a hard worker.
Maria Tallchief nearly quit the company late in 1942 and Tallchief was told she would go on in her place.
Glory was short lived as Maria Tallchief returned to the corps when the staging of Chopin Concerto was complete.
Back on tour, Maria Tallchief saw her parents in Los Angeles.
Ruth Maria Tallchief changed her mind when Lichine showed her Martin's column and explained that he was America's top dance critic.
Maria Tallchief was a soloist in Le Beau Danube and got the lead in Ancient Russia, another Nijinska ballet.
Maria Tallchief was glad to get back into ballet after years on Broadway and in Hollywood and accepted the offer.
Maria Tallchief was ignorant of the personal attraction for a long time and their relationship remained mostly on a professional level.
Slowly they became friends; then one day, Balanchine asked Maria Tallchief to marry him, much to her surprise.
Maria Tallchief learned how to hold her chest high, keep her back straight, and keep her feet arched.
Maria Tallchief rose to the rank of "featured soloist" as Balanchine continued to cast her in important roles.
Maria Tallchief created the role of Coquette in Night Shadow, the ballet's most technically challenging role, after Danilova selected the other female lead for herself.
Maria Tallchief had six months remaining on her contract with Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, so stayed with the company until 1947.
Maria Tallchief had been called upon to "save" the famous troupe, but not everyone appreciated his presence.
Maria Tallchief ignored the company's hierarchy, further angering some dancers.
When Maria Tallchief arrived, she was put to work immediately with roles in Le baiser de la fee and Apollo.
Maria Tallchief created many roles specifically for Tallchief, including the lead of "The Firebird" in 1949.
Maria Tallchief's popularity helped the fledgeling dance company grow and she was asked to perform as many as eight times a week.
In 1954, Maria Tallchief was given the role of Sugar Plum Fairy in Balanchine's newly reworked version of The Nutcracker, then an obscure ballet.
Maria Tallchief remained with the New York City Ballet until February 1960, but took time off to work with other companies.
Maria Tallchief made guest appearances with the Chicago Opera Ballet, the San Francisco Ballet, the Royal Danish Ballet, and the Hamburg Ballet, among others.
From 1960 to 1962, Maria Tallchief expanded her repertoire taking on dramatic, as opposed to abstract, roles such as the title roles of Birgit Cullberg's Miss Julie and Lady from the Sea, as well as the melancholy heroine of Antony Tudor's Jardin aux Lilas.
Maria Tallchief appeared on multiple TV shows, including The Ed Sullivan Show.
Maria Tallchief portrayed Anna Pavlova in the 1952 movie musical Million Dollar Mermaid.
In 1962, Maria Tallchief was Rudolf Nureyev's partner of choice for his American debut which was broadcast on national television.
Maria Tallchief served as director of ballet for the Lyric Opera of Chicago from 1973 to 1979.
Maria Tallchief served as co-artistic director until its demise in 1987.
Maria Tallchief was featured in the documentary film Dancing for Mr B in 1989.
Maria Tallchief realized who and what she was, but she didn't flaunt it.
Maria Tallchief phrased her curls and extensions as delicately or as strongly as the music itself.
Maria Tallchief's parents continued to oppose the marriage and did not attend the ceremony.
In 1952, Maria Tallchief married Elmourza Natirboff, a pilot for a private charter airline.
Maria Tallchief tended to be direct in expressing her opinion, never mincing words.
Maria Tallchief died on April 11,2013, from complications stemming from the injury.
Maria Tallchief was considered America's first major prima ballerina, and was the first Native American to hold the rank.
Maria Tallchief remained closely tied to her Osage history until her death, speaking out against stereotypes and misconceptions about Native Americans on many occasions.
Maria Tallchief was involved with America for Indian Opportunity and was a director of the Indian Council Fire Achievement Award.
Maria Tallchief and her sister Marjorie are counted as two of a group of five Native American ballet dancers from Oklahoma born in the 1920s.
Maria Tallchief was called "one of the most brilliant American ballerinas of the 20th century" by The New York Times.
Maria Tallchief is credited with "[breaking] down ethnic barriers" and was among the first Americans to flourish in a field long dominated by Russians and Europeans.
In Oklahoma, Maria Tallchief was honored by the governor for both her ballet achievements and her pride in her American Indian heritage.
Maria Tallchief is a subject of one of the life-size bronze statues titled The Five Moons, located at the Tulsa Historical Society.
In 1996, Maria Tallchief received a Kennedy Center Honor for lifetime achievements.
Maria Tallchief is an inductee of the National Women's Hall of Fame, and was twice named "Woman of the Year" by the Washington Press Club.
Maria Tallchief twice was on Dance Magazines annual award list.
In 2006, the Metropolitan Museum of Art presented a special tribute to Maria Tallchief titled "A Tribute to Ballet Great Maria Tallchief," during which Tallchief officially named Kenneth von Heidecke as her protege.
In 2018, Maria Tallchief became one of the inductees in the first induction ceremony held by the National Native American Hall of Fame.
Maria Tallchief will be honored on an American Women quarter in 2023.