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Maria Tallchief Paschen

January 1, 2019

1977 – Chicago, Illinois

When George Balanchine formed the New York City Ballet, Maria Tallchief became its Prima Ballerina. “Firebird,” to the Stravinsky score, was created especially for her artistic and technical talents. As star of the company, she received worldwide acclaim. She danced as guest Prima Ballerina with the American Ballet Theatre in Russia, Rumania, Greece and Bulgaria and has also been a guest star with the Paris Opera Ballet and the Royal Danish Ballet in Copenhagen. She was the founder and artistic director of the Chicago City Ballet. She taught classes at the School of American Ballet and gave an extensive series of lecture demonstrations at public schools throughout New York. Since giving up her career as a performer, Miss Tallchief has served on the Illinois Arts Council’s Advisory Panel on Dance and served as Artistic Director of the Lyric Opera Ballet. Miss Tallchief has been awarded honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degrees from Colby, Lake Forest, Ripon, Boston College, Northwestern University, Dartmouth, St. Mary of the Woods, St. Xavier and Yale University. Honored as Woman of the Year in 1953 by President Dwight Eisenhower, she has also received the Distinguished Service Award from the University of Oklahoma and the Jane Addams award at Rockford College. She is married to Henry D. Paschen, Jr. and has one daughter, Elise.