Tallchief by Maria Tallchief
America's Prima Ballerina

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Synopsis

Music flowed through young Maria Tallchief as naturally as the wind in her hair. She had only to hear a melody and out it came under her fingers on the piano or through her body in dance. But it was soon clear that she would have to make a choice. "Piano or dance," her father told her when she was twelve. "One or the other, but follow that one star." So Maria chose from the heart--and she chose dance. It was a decision that would change not only the course of her life, but the face of classical ballet in America forever. From her early years on an Indian reservation in Oklahoma to her dance training in Los Angeles to her departure for New York and a professional career, the fascinating story of Maria Tallchief, America's prima ballerina, is sure to captivate the hearts of young readers and dance lovers alike.
 

About Maria Tallchief

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Tallchief was George Balanchine's muse for twenty years and his wife for six. Together they made the New York City Ballet an essential part of American culture, with his choreography and her dazzling, technically bravura dancing. Tallchief received the Kennedy Center Honors in 1996. Rosemary Wells, author and illustrator of several dozen books for children and young adults, was born in 1943 in New York City. She studied at the Museum School at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Wells began her career in publishing, working as an art editor and designer first at Allyn and Bacon and later at Macmillan Publishing. Her first work, which she both wrote and illustrated, was Martha's Birthday, published in 1970. Her first work for young adults was The Fog Comes on Little Pig Feet, published in 1972. Wells is perhaps most famous for the Max series, beginning with Max's First Word, published by Dial in 1979. Although the primary audience for the series is very young children, the books appeal to the senses of humor of even small children. Wells says that the inspiration for these stories is her own children. Wells is the recipient of numerous awards including a Children's Book Council Award for Noisy Nora in 1974, the Edgar Allan Pie award for two young adult books, Through the Looking Glass and When No One Was Looking, and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Shy Charles. Rosemary Wells is married to Thomas Moore Wells, an architect. The couple has two daughters. Kelley is one of America's finest illustrations. His picture book artwork has earned numerous awards, including 23 gold and silver medals from the Society of Illustrators and the 1992 Hamilton King Award for best illustration. He lives and works in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
 
Published October 1, 1999 by Dial Books for Young Readers. 32 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Travel, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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?' At forty-one Maria Tallchief ""'hung up her toe shoes' and went home"" and the answer to a question adults might pose tells children something they seldom hear: an auspicious career is not the less so for being terminated.

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Betty Marie Tallchief joined the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, she was a native, home-town girl of 17 who knew nothing of the politics and intrigues of her new life.

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A year later, the much older man of few words shocked her by saying casually that ``I would like you to become my wife.'' Although this collaboration between Tallchief and ghostwriter Kaplan (Prodigal Son, 1992) does not include much about Tallchief's firsthand view of Balanchine's revisionary cl...

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“I was born with music that flowed through my body as naturally as blood in my veins,” explains Tallchief, who, with Wells, describes her early life in lyrical and compelling prose.

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Publishers Weekly

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Sixteen years later, Tallchief, now a renowned artist, is living in a remote area of New Mexico when Kathleen reappears with a daughter that Morgan didn't know he had.

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