Tallchief, a brilliant American ballerina, dies

One of the 20th-century’s greatest ballerinas,  who was also a force on Chicago’s dance scene, has died.

Maria Tallchief passed away on Thursday at Northwestern Memorial Hospital of complications from a broken hip. She was 88.

Tallchief was instrumental in the Joffrey Ballet’s relocation to Chicago in the 1990’s.

She was also director of ballet for Chicago’s Lyric Opera  during the 1970’s.

The following decade Tallchief debuted the Chicago City Ballet.

Tallchief was born in a small town on an Indian reservation in Oklahoma in 1925.

She was an inspiration for renowned choreographer George Balanchine, to whom she was married for several years.

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