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Mourning the Passing of Maria Tallchief

Mourning the Passing of Maria Tallchief

The National Women's Hall of Fame mourns the passing of one of the premiere American ballerinas of all time, Maria Tallchief, a 1996 Inductee.  Ms. Tallchief passed away on April 11, 2013 at the age of 88.

Maria Tallchief  was the first American dancer to achieve the title of prima ballerina.  She began her career performing with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo from 1942-1947, where she quickly became a featured soloist.  In 1946, Tallchief married choreographer George Balanchine and became the first American ballerina to debut at the Paris Opera.  Tallchief and Balanchine later formed the Balanchine Ballet Society, now known as the New York City Ballet, where Tallchief perfomed until her retirement in 1965.  In 1975, she served as artistic director of the Chicago Lyric Opera Ballet, and in 1980, she founded the Chicago City Ballet, where she served as the artistic director until 1987. 

Click to learn more about her life and achievements.