Indian Country Conversations Series features documentary on prima ballerina Maria Tallchief

As part of its Indian Country Conversation Series, Willamette University will show "Maria Tallchief," a documentary produced by Sandy and Yasu Osawa. The April 27 showing will be held in Kaneko Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

The filmmakers will introduce the film and participate in a discussion with the audience following the screening.

Tallchief is an Osage Indian from Oklahoma who became the first prima ballerina with the New York City Ballet. She founded the Chicago City Ballet, where she served as artistic director. In 1996, the Kennedy Center honored her as one of the world's greatest performing artists.

The producer describes the movie as:

An untold story on the life and artistry of Maria Tallchief, who rose from an Indian community in Oklahoma to become America's first prima ballerina. Her partnership with Balanchine helped create the New York City Ballet and changed the course of ballet in America. Rare archival clips and stills from the 1940s through her retirement in the mid-1960s trace this important period of ballet and American Indian history.