This is a video of the ballerina Maria Tallchief performing and talking about her role in the famous Firebird. This ballet, choreographed by George Balanchine, was the one to catapult Tallchief to the top of the ballet world and was also the first major success of the then-newly founded New York City Ballet.
Tallchief was one of America’s first prima ballerinas and the first Native American woman (Osage Tribe) to hold that position. She was the first prima ballerina of the New York City Ballet and danced there for many years under Balanchine. She then joined the American Ballet Theatre. To this day, Tallchief is known as one of the most brilliant American ballerinas of the 20th century and is credited for breaking down barriers for Native American women.