Biography: Maria Tallchief was America's first major prima ballerina, heading up the New York City ballet under choreographer George Balanchine from 1948.
She appeared in such famous productions as "The Firebird" revival in 1949 and "The Nutcracker" in 1954. Her performance as the Sugar Plum Fairy established the ballet's popularity in America.
After leaving the New York City ballet Tallchief went on to perform with other ballet companies. In 1960 she was the first American dancer to perform at the famed Russian Bolshoi Theater in Moscow.
- 1954-02-02 "The Nutcracker" ballet choreographed by George Balanchine with Maria Tallchief as the Sugar Plum Fairy opens in New York, establishes its popularity in the US