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Bettie Marie Tall Chief (Tallchief-Maria)

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Born: 1925 AD
Currently alive, at 89 years of age.

Nationality: American
Categories: Dancers

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1925 - Born in Fairfax, Oklahoma on the 24th of January.

1942-1947 - She danced with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo.

1947-1965 - She is best known for her time with the New York City Ballet.

1946 - Choreographer George Balanchine wrote several of his most famous works for her. The two were married on the 16th of August.

1949 - Her performance of Balanchine's The Firebird and their earlier collaboration at the Paris Opera elevated Maria Tallchief onto the world stage.

1952 - The marriage with George was ended.

1947-1960 - She was the first prima ballerina of the New York City Ballet, where Balanchine was the principal choreographer.

         - She also originated the role of the Sugarplum Fairy in Balanchine's version of The Nutcracker.

1953 - She became America's preeminent dancer.

         - President Dwight Eisenhower declared her Woman of the Year.

1956 - She briefly married Elmourza Natirboff, "a handsome young aviator," and later married Henry "Buzz" Paschen, a "blue-eyed" Chicago builder, on the 3rd of June.

1965 - She continued to dance with the New York City Ballet and with other groups until her retirement.

1981-1987 - She founded the Chicago City Ballet and served as its artistic director.

1966 - She received the Kennedy Center Honors.


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Page last updated: 2:51pm, 23rd Mar '07