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American Indian Ballerinas Hardcover – February, 1997

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

American Indian Ballerinas includes authorized mini biographies of ballerinas Rosella Hightower, Yvonne Chouteau, Maria Tallchief (who recently published her autobiography), and her sister Marjorie Tallchief. All four dancers share a common ethnicity (Native American) and state of origin (Oklahoma), and all came to prominence at the roughly the same time, the 1940s-1960s--though the four had markedly different temperaments. Without working too hard to compare them, the book shows how their common heritage of dance and spirituality suffused their respective artistic careers.

From Library Journal

Livingston, a journalist and former dancer, has written the first authorized biography of Maria Tallchief (a 1996 Kennedy Center honoree), Marjorie Tallchief, Rosella Hightower, and Yvonne Chouteau. The book celebrates the accomplishments of these women, who share a state (Oklahoma), a profession (ballet), and a heritage (Native American). Livingston draws largely from interviews she conducted with the dancers, who describe their rise to fame, the touring life, and the complexities of combining professional and personal lives. The book successfully conveys the positive attitudes that played a significant part in each dancer's success, but it lacks the detail and objectivity readers have come to expect of biographies and dance histories. Ultimately this is light, enjoyable reading for balletomanes. Focusing on her remembrances of her years with choreographer George Balanchine, Tallchief's autobiography is more revealing. She met Balanchine at the start of her career, when she was with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and Balanchine was about to form a company that would become a precursor to the New York City Ballet. Tallchief subsequently became Balanchine's wife, muse, and prima ballerina, and, though the marriage was short-lived, their artistic partnership endures in Balanchine's works created for Tallchief. She also writes about other stars, but the memoir sparkles when she recalls the subtlety and detail of a movement or the beauty of a musical phrase. Kaplan has coauthored biographies of Merrill Ashley and Edward Villela. Wholly satisfying fare for the seriously interested.?Joan Stahl, National Museum of American Art Lib., Washington, D.C.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press; First Edition edition (February 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0806128968
  • ISBN-13: 978-0806128962
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 7.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,135,807 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. Crouch on November 2, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book gives a very nice over-view of the four American Indian Ballerinas, tracing their careers and rise to stardom in a parallel fashion. You get a sense of where each dancer was in her training and her performance years with respect for the others. The easy going style paints a clear and accurate picture that dancers and non-dancers alike can enjoy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By BbP on May 16, 2013
Format: Paperback
book-my personal copy

3/1999--352 pgs--u of Oklahoma press.

--4--I N D I A N---BALLERINAS--
all OKLAHOMA born....PhOTOs!

1.MARIA TALLCHIEF-1/24/1925 to 4/11/2013.

2.ROSELLA HIGHTOWER-1/10/1920-4/4/2008.

3.MARJORIE TALLCHIEF-b/1926.

4.YVONNE CHOUTEAU-b/1929.

book about-
THEIR RISE TO FAME,TOURING LIFE,PERSONAL
LIVES,POSITIVE ATTITUDES,PROFESSIONAL,
ACHIEVEMENTS & SPECIAL ELECTRICITY.

note--their IS a 5th one who is NOT
written about--EDNA MOSCELYNE
LARKIN..1/14/1925 to 4/25/2012.
CO-FOUNDER of THE TULSA BALLET.

A nICe BOOk....PhotoS!

THE all KNEW THEIR own MINDS!

^^^^^^BAllEeT HisTOry!^^^^^^

bette okc ok 64 retired
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the only book with biographies about Yvonne Choteau, Rosella Hightower and Marjorie Tallchief. All were Native Americans from Oklahoma, part of the "Five Moons". I purchased this book specifically to learn about Marjorie Tallchief; there are several books about her more famous sister, Maria Tallchief, though Maria is included in this volume as well. Yvonne, Rosella and Marjorie were just as prominent and famous as Maria was in their heyday. Marjorie Tallchief started out as a dancer in films before she performed for several companies. Yvonne Choteau was accepted as a member of Ballet Russe when she was only 14, the youngest person ever in that company. Rosella Hightower was also a member of Ballet Russe as well, but moved onto Ballet Theater and other companies. All achieved prima ballerina status and were well known among balletomanes and the dance community. It is remarkable that Oklahoma produced so many talented dancers. If you want to learn more about famous ballerinas of the past or learn about prominent Native American women, this is a book worth checking out.
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By Susan J. Werner on June 22, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Author, as a former ballerina, is very knowledgeable. And she writes well. Book recommended by a friend. Glad that I bought it.
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