KUNM

The Osage Tell Their Own Story

Jul 29, 2016

Maria Tallchief was America's first major prima ballerina; her sister Marjorie was also a successful ballerina; together they inspired a love of ballet in their homeland, the Osage Nation of Oklahoma.  Carrying on this tradition today in Osage country is Randy Tinker Smith.  Randy and her daughter Jenna Smith have received national attention for Wahzhazhe, The Osage BalletThe production comes to Santa Fe on August 6.

To create the ballet, Randy spent a year listening to Osage elders and researching Osage history.  She says that for generations other people have been speaking for the Osage Nation; this time it's "great to tell our own story."

Randy describes Wahzhazhe in greater detail in this longer version of the interview, and talks about performing the ballet for Pope Francis at the International Festival of Families in Philadelphia in 2015.