Yvonne Chouteau

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Yvonne Chouteau
BornMyra Yvonne Chouteau
March 7, 1929
Fort Worth, Texas
Died January 24, 2016(2016-01-24) (aged 86)
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Nationality Shawnee Tribe (American)
Education School of American Ballet
Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo
Known for Ballet
Awards National Cultural Treasures Award
Oklahoma Hall of Fame

Myra Yvonne Chouteau (March 7, 1929 – January 24, 2016) was one of the "Five Moons" or Native prima ballerinas of Oklahoma. She was the only child of Col. Corbett Edward and Lucy Arnett Chouteau. She was born March 7, 1929 in Fort Worth, Texas. In 1943, she became the youngest dancer ever accepted to the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, where she worked for fourteen years, In 1962, she and her husband, Miguel Terekhov, founded the first fully accredited university dance program in the United States, the School of Dance at the University of Oklahoma. [1] A member of the Shawnee Tribe, she is also of ethnic French ancestry, the great-great-great-granddaughter of Maj. Jean Pierre Chouteau. From the Chouteau family of St. Louis, he established Oklahoma's oldest European-American settlement, at the present site of Salina, in 1796. [2] She grew up in Vinita, Oklahoma. [3]

The Five Moons are five Native American ballerinas from the U.S. state of Oklahoma who achieved international prominence during the 20th century. They are Yvonne Chouteau, Rosella Hightower, Moscelyne Larkin, and sisters Maria Tallchief and Marjorie Tallchief. Five Moons (2007) is the name of a bronze sculpture installation in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that portrays the five ballerinas.

Native Americans in the United States Indigenous peoples of the United States (except Hawaii)

Native Americans, also known as American Indians, Indigenous Americans and other terms, are the indigenous peoples of the United States, except Hawaii. There are over 500 federally recognized tribes within the US, about half of which are associated with Indian reservations. The term "American Indian" excludes Native Hawaiians and some Alaska Natives, while Native Americans are American Indians, plus Alaska Natives of all ethnicities. Native Hawaiians are not counted as Native Americans by the US Census, instead being included in the Census grouping of "Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander".

Fort Worth, Texas City in Texas, United States

Fort Worth is the 15th-largest city in the United States and the fifth-largest city in the state of Texas. It is the county seat of Tarrant County, covering nearly 350 square miles (910 km2) into four other counties: Denton, Johnson, Parker and Wise. According to the 2017 census estimates, Fort Worth's population is 874,168. The city is the second-largest in the Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington metropolitan area, which is the 4th most populous metropolitan area in the United States.

Contents

Career

Chouteau was born in Fort Worth, Texas on March 7, 1929. [3] [2] Inspired to dance at age four after seeing the great ballerina Alexandra Danilova dance in Oklahoma City, Chouteau studied at the School of American Ballet in New York before Danilova recommended her in 1943 to Serge Denham for the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. At 14, she was the youngest dancer ever accepted. [4] Her first solo role was as Prayer in Coppelia . (1945). At age 18, she was the youngest member inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.

Alexandra Danilova American ballet dancer

Aleksandra Dionisyevna Danilova was a Russian-born prima ballerina, who became an American citizen. In 1989, she was recognized for lifetime achievements in ballet as a Kennedy Center Honoree.

Oklahoma City State capital city in Oklahoma, United States

Oklahoma City, often shortened to OKC, is the capital and largest city of the U.S. state of Oklahoma. The county seat of Oklahoma County, the city ranks 27th among United States cities in population. The population grew following the 2010 Census, with the population estimated to have increased to 643,648 as of July 2017. As of 2015, the Oklahoma City metropolitan area had a population of 1,358,452, and the Oklahoma City-Shawnee Combined Statistical Area had a population of 1,459,758 residents, making it Oklahoma's largest metropolitan area.

The School of American Ballet (SAB) is an American classical ballet school and is the associate school of the New York City Ballet, a ballet company based at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City. The school trains students from the age of six, with professional vocational ballet training for students aged 11–18. Graduates of the school achieve employment with leading ballet companies worldwide, most notably in the United States with New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, and San Francisco Ballet.

In 1956, Chouteau married dancer Miguel Terekhov. After they had their first child, they moved to Oklahoma City to live. [5] Together they organized the Oklahoma City Civic Ballet (now Oklahoma City Ballet). In 1962, they established the first fully accredited dance department in the United States at the University of Oklahoma at Norman, Oklahoma. [6] She was featured in Ballets Russes , a documentary film by Dayna Goldfine and Dan Geller that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2005. [7] [8] She died after a long illness on January 24, 2016. [9] During her career, she worked with such noted choreographers as George Balanchine, Leonide Massine, Antony Tudor, Agnes de Mille, and Bronislav Nijinska. [2]

Miguel Terekhov was a Uruguayan-born American ballet dancer and ballet instructor. Terekhov and his wife, Yvonne Chouteau, one of the Five Moons, a group of Native American ballet dancers, founded the School of Dance at the University of Oklahoma in 1961.

Oklahoma City Ballet non-profit organisation in the USA

The Oklahoma City Ballet is a professional dance company and school located in Oklahoma City. The company began under the artistic direction of Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo dancers Yvonne Chouteau and Miguel Terekhov in the Science and Arts Foundation building on the Oklahoma City Fairgrounds,

United States federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Legacy and honors

Governor Frank Keating designated her an Oklahoma Treasure on October 8, 1997. [10] She is portrayed in the mural Flight of Spirit, by Chickasaw artist Mike Larsen in the Oklahoma Capitol Rotunda, and in The Five Moons, a set of bronze sculptures by artist Gary Henson on the west lawn of the Tulsa Historical Society. [11]

Frank Keating American politician

Francis Anthony "Frank" Keating II is an American attorney and politician who served as the 25th governor of Oklahoma from 1995 to 2003.

When the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian opened in Washington D.C. in 2004, Chouteau was honored with the inaugural National Cultural Treasures Award, celebrating her contribution to the nation's cultural heritage. [12]

Smithsonian Institution group of museums and research centers administered by the United States government

The Smithsonian Institution, established on August 10, 1846 "for the increase and diffusion of knowledge," is a group of museums and research centers administered by the Government of the United States. The institution is named after its founding donor, British scientist James Smithson. Originally organized as the "United States National Museum," that name ceased to exist as an administrative entity in 1967.

National Museum of the American Indian museum in Washington, D.C.

The National Museum of the American Indian is part of the Smithsonian Institution and is committed to advancing knowledge and understanding of the Native cultures of the Western Hemisphere—past, present, and future—through partnership with Native people and others. The museum works to support the continuance of culture, traditional values, and transitions in contemporary Native life. It has three facilities: the National Museum of the American Indian on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., which opened on September 21, 2004, on Fourth Street and Independence Avenue, Southwest; the George Gustav Heye Center, a permanent museum in New York City; and the Cultural Resources Center, a research and collections facility in Suitland, Maryland. The foundations for the present collections were first assembled in the former Museum of the American Indian in New York City, which was established in 1916, and which became part of the Smithsonian in 1990.

Further reading

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References

  1. Anderson, Jack (2012-01-09). "Miguel Terekhov, Dancer With Ballets Russes, Dies at 83". New York Times . Retrieved 2011-01-28.
  2. 1 2 3 Vincent, Melissa. "Chouteau, Myra Yvonne (1929-2016 )" Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History & Culture. Archived 2009-08-04 at the Wayback Machine . 2009. Accessed February 2, 2009.
  3. 1 2 Livingston, Lili Cockerille. American Indian Ballerinas. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1999: 56.
  4. "Tulsa People, The Indian Ballerinas, May 2007". Tulsapeople-digital.com. Retrieved 2008-05-26.
  5. DeLeon, Jenefar. "Five Indian Ballerinas." NewsOK. Accessed August 28, 2016.
  6. "Revolver Group - Balle Russe". Archived from the original on 2007-12-28. Retrieved 2008-05-26.
  7. "Zeitgeist Films" (PDF). Zeitgeistfilms.com. Retrieved 2008-05-26.
  8. Foundas, Scott (2005-02-17). "Variety Feb. 17, 2005" . Retrieved 2008-05-26.
  9. "OU dance school founder Yvonne Chouteau dies at 86 - OUDaily.com: News". OUDaily.com. Retrieved 2016-01-27.
  10. Hardy, Camille (1998). "Dance Magazine, February 1998". Dance Magazine. Retrieved 2008-05-26.
  11. "Tulsa Historical Society, "Five Moons Rising"". Archived from the original on August 12, 2007. Retrieved 2008-05-26.
  12. "Oklahoma Arts Council, News release, September 14, 2004". State.ok.us. Retrieved 2008-05-26.