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Prima Ballerina Maria Tallchief

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Maria Tallchief has been called America's first prima ballerina. The half-Native American girl from small-town Oklahoma went on to become one of the most respected dancers in the world, and all the while, she clung stubbornly to her roots. A new documentary film charting her life story and contributions to American culture will have its Chicago premiere this weekend. It's called, simply, Maria Tallchief. Dance critic Lucia Mauro joined us this week to offer up a preview, and to explain why Tallchief was so important to American ballet. 

The film screens at this Saturday at 3 and 5:15 p.m. at the Gene Siskel Film Center. And Maria Tallchief, now 83, is scheduled to appear along with the filmmaker at the early screening.

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