A Woman to Know: Maria Tallchief

Perfection is not when there is nothing to add, but when there is nothing to take away. — Maria Tallchief

(image via New York City Ballet)

Maria made headlines as The Nutcracker's Sugar Plum Fairy, as the muse to legendary choreographer George Balanchine, and as a director of ballet later in her life. And (always) she is remembered as the best to ever dance "The Firebird" -- and beyond all this, in 1946, she was the first Native American admitted to the New York City Ballet. With her starring roles in Balanchine's productions, the creative duo established American dance in the ancient ballet world. At Balanchine's side, Maria was recognized as America's first-ever prima ballerina.

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