11/8/2012 (1641)

Connie Zorn Landsverk has been hospitalized
Message from Connie Zorn Landsverk:  Bottineau, ND
Hi all just reading all the Dunseith news.
I was in the botno hosp. from oct. 12th thru Oct.13th and then I was transferred to the trinity hosp in Minot. Hospitalized for 12 days. Had bowel obstruction surgery. I had a collapsed lung. Oct. 24th I was transferred to the Rehab center @ st. Joes hosp. I was discharged home on oct.31st. I have a lot of incisional pain, & weakness. I must be careful what I do.The pain meds make me Loopy!, but I’m, recovering slowly but surely each  day!! No cancer which I,I’m thankful for!!I want each of you to have a good week!!
We are so sorry to hear of your health problems. We hope for all continues to go well with your recovery. Please keep us posted.
Art Hagen (’72) & Rose Hohl
Art and Rose are in the air, over the Pacific, as we speak. They will be arriving late tonight here in Cebu, Philippines.
Article for the blog – this is in recognition of Native American Heritage Month (November)!
Posted by Bernice Belgarde (’72):   Bemidji, MN

Maria Tallchief – Dancer, Teacher & Barrier  Breaker Taken from: The Kennedy Center


Maria Tallchief (dancer and teacher; born January 24,  1925, Fairfax, Oklahoma)


“A ballerina takes steps given to her and makes them her  own. Each individual brings something different to the same role,” Maria  Tallchief once said. “As an American, I believe in great individualism. That’s  the way I was brought up.” Tallchief has been both muse and instrument, both the inspiration and the living expression of the best our country has given the  world.  Her individualism and her genius came together to create one of the most vital and beautiful chapters in the history of American dance.

She was born in an Indian reservation, her father member  of the Osage tribe, her mother of Irish and Scottish descent. When the family  relocated to Los Angeles, young Maria began music lessons and soon found that  she had perfect pitch. But it was the dance that would capture the young girl’s  heart.  Her teacher was Bronislava Nijinska. After five full years of study with that dance pioneer, Maria Tallchief joined the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, where she soon achieved soloist status and danced in a variety of ballets from  Scheherezade and Gaite Parisienne to, prophetically, George Balanchine’s  Serenade. Balanchine himself saw Tallchief for the first time in the operetta  Song of Norway, where she danced in the corps and understudied Alexandra  Danilova. Balanchine fell in love with the dancer, who became his wife in 1946  and the inspiration for, among others, Balanchine’s Symphonie Concertante,  Sylvia: pas de deux, Orpheus, Night Shadow, The Four Temperaments, and Scotch  Symphony.  Husband and wife first collaborated at the Paris Opera, in a sort of  extended working honeymoon in 1947. Balanchine then brought Tallchief home to  his Ballet Society, the company that would become New York City Ballet. Her  immense popularity with the American public would grow in part from the huge  demand the then small company put on this gifted principal: Tallchief was called  upon to dance as many as eight performances a week, and her legend grew. Her  dedication was complete, her abandon astounding.

Lincoln Kirstein noted his impressions of the by then  Mrs. Balanchine in Firebird in his diary in 1949, New York City Ballet’s first  season. “Maria Tallchief made an electrifying appearance, emerging as the  nearest approximation to a prima ballerina that we had yet enjoyed.” He was not  alone in his praise. Perhaps the critic Walter Terry described it best when he encountered Tallchief in the 1954 world premiere of Balanchine’s now historic version of The Nutcracker at City Center. “Maria Tallchief, as the Sugar Plum Fairy, is herself a creature of magic, dancing the seemingly impossible with effortless beauty of movement, electrifying us with her brilliance, enchanting  us with her radiance of being. Does she have any equals anywhere, inside or  outside of fairyland? While watching her in The Nutcracker, one is tempted to  doubt it.”

In the 1955 Pas de Six, Balanchine made use of  Tallchief’s innate subtlety and delicacy to such effect that it would take other  great ballerinas in the same role for the world to realize just how very  difficult technically this ballet is: She made it look easy, natural, musical  and radiant. She was, in short, the living essence of a Balanchine ballet. Yet  when Balanchine’s attentions shifted to another dancer–and another  wife–Tallchief found other outlets for her own genius. She joined the Ballet  Russe de Monte Carlo as a guest artist in 1955 and 1956, famously receiving the  highest salary ever paid any dancer. She remarried in 1956, took her only leave  from ballet in order to become a mother in 1958, returned briefly to the New  York City Ballet to create Balanchine’s Gounod Symphony, then joined the  American Ballet Theatre in 1960.

Even as Firebird became her signature role around the  world, Tallchief’s personal triumphs ranged beyond Balanchine and even into  Antony Tudor’s Jardin aux lilas and Birgit Cullberg’s Miss Julie, in which she  was partnered by Erik Bruhn at the American Ballet Theatre. She was Rudolf  Nureyev’s partner of choice in the young Russian defector’s American debut in  1962, on television.

Tallchief surprised the world by announcing her  retirement in 1965. She had no intention of dancing past her considerable prime.  She now wanted to pass her love and respect for her art to younger dancers. She  became the artistic director and beloved teacher of the Chicago Lyric Opera  Ballet in 1975; from 1981 to 1987, Tallchief became the founder and artistic  director of the Chicago City Ballet. “New ideas are essential,” Tallchief said  at the time, “but we must retain respect for the art of ballet–and that means  the artist too–or else it is no longer an art form.”