The dancer—and Balanchine's wife and muse—broke barriers for Native Americans at the barre and graced stages all over the world.
Balanchine danced the role of Polio and Tanaquil, the Etruscan Queen sensitive to omens, danced the victim.
Balanchine devoted himself to her recuperation, motivated, it seemed, partly by guilt.
Tanny came to be known as the epitome of a Balanchine dancer, with her long legs and graceful, fluid lines.
He had gone on to such projects as a 28-foot marionette for the 1965 Balanchine production of Don Quixote.
When Tanny was 15, Balanchine had cast her in a ballet he created for a polio fundraiser.
She and Balanchine parted ways in the early 50s, and he would have other muses, but Tallchief was the template for them all.
She married Balanchine in 1952, leaving Robbins heartbroken.
Perhaps Balanchine had seen this doubt, this questioning in a student before.
She was with Balanchine at his bedside, among his other wives, when he died.