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Marjorie Tallchief, Acclaimed Ballerina, Is Useless at 95

Marjorie Tallchief, Acclaimed Ballerina, Is Dead at 95

Marjorie Tallchief, an American ballerina who grew to become an acclaimed worldwide star with main corporations in France and the US within the Nineteen Fifties, died on Nov. 30 at her residence in Delray Seaside, Fla. She was 95.

Her dying was confirmed by her granddaughter Nathalie Skibine.

Ms. Tallchief was usually recognized by critics and reference books because the youthful sister of Maria Tallchief, certainly one of George Balanchine’s main ballerinas in New York Metropolis Ballet. However she had her personal distinct id as a flexible dancer who excelled in numerous ballets, from the Nineteenth-century classics and Balanchine’s works to the experimental dances with a poetic tinge that had been modern in France, the place she danced with two corporations within the Nineteen Forties and Nineteen Fifties.

From 1957 to 1962, she danced with the Paris Opera Ballet, which invited her to affix as a daily principal when her husband, George Skibine, joined as ballet director and choreographer.

Though the Tallchief sisters pursued unbiased careers in separate corporations, they remained shut, they usually each publicly proclaimed satisfaction of their Native American heritage as members of the Osage Nation. The State of Oklahoma honored them with a number of official tributes over time.

Though Maria was extra acquainted to American audiences due to her connection to New York Metropolis Ballet, Marjorie danced early in her profession with Ballet Theater (which later grew to become American Ballet Theater) and frequently appeared in New York for a decade, from 1947 to 1956, with the visiting Grand Ballet du Marquis de Cuevas from France and Monaco.

The French critic Irène Lidova summed her up in a 1950 appraisal as “a superb, dynamic dancer with a svelte and versatile physique,” including, “By way of her quasi-acrobatic virtuosity, she embodies the proper dancer for our time.”

The New York Occasions dance critic John Martin additionally famous that streamlined high quality when the Cuevas firm revived Bronislava Nijinska’s well-known avant-garde ballet, “Le Practice Bleu,” that yr. Singling out Ms. Tallchief’s efficiency as an androgynous younger lady in blue, he wrote, “She makes the lady within the tunic a shocking determine,” including that she additionally maintained “the sharp, clear fashion of the choreography’s design.”

In later years, Ms. Tallchief appeared as a visitor ballerina with Ruth Web page’s Chicago Opera Ballet and the Harkness Ballet.

Marjorie Louise Tall Chief was born on Oct. 19, 1926, 21 months after her sister, in Denver, the place her dad and mom had been on a quick trip. (She and her sister joined their surnames after they started dancing professionally.)

Their father, Alexander Joseph Tall Chief, a member of the Osage Nation, lived off his share of the oil revenues that had been negotiated with the federal authorities after oil was found on the Osage reservation in Fairfax, Okla. Their mom, Ruth (Porter) Tall Chief, a homemaker of Scottish-Irish descent, inspired the ladies to review ballet and moved the household to Beverly Hills, Calif., in the hunt for extra skilled ballet academics.

Because of their oil income wealth, the household lived an prosperous life. The ladies studied ballet with two well-known academics: Ernest Belcher; and David Lichine, the choreographer and dancer married to certainly one of Balanchine’s unique “child ballerinas,” Tatiana Riabouchinska. Their best instructor was Ms. Nijinska, Vaslav Nijinsky’s sister and herself a celebrated choreographer and dancer in Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes.

Because the critic Jack Anderson recalled just lately, Ms. Nijinska instructed him in California that she suggested the sisters by no means to bop in the identical firm “as a result of every would cancel the opposite out.”

Maria Tallchief died in 2013. Majorie Tallchief is survived by her sons, Alexander and George Skibine, and 4 grandchildren.

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