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 • Belle Ile en Mer, Locmaria Cemetery
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 • Departement du Morbihan
 • Bretagne
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Rosella Hightower
Birth: Jan. 10, 1920
Ardmore
Carter County
Oklahoma, USA
Death: Nov. 4, 2008
Cannes
Departement des Alpes-Maritimes
Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France

Ballerina. She had a celebrated career as a prima ballerina prior to starting a noted ballet academy. Born to a Choctaw Indian family, she received her initial dance training from Dorothy Perkins in Kansas City after her father's job took the family there. She won acclaim in the United States with the American Ballet Theater, and the Ballets Russes (which had moved to New York because of WWII), earning praise from the New York Times in 1943 for a performance of the "Nutcracker". Miss Hightower then went to Europe and joined the Grand Ballet de Monte Carlo (later called Grand Ballet du Marquis de Cuevas), where she was the first 20th century American to achieve prima ballerina status in Europe. She became an instant sensation during a 1947 tour when she performed "Giselle" at the Metropolitan Opera after learning the role in five hours. Always respected for a strong work ethic, she danced with a number of companies and considered Bronislava Nijinska her greatest mentor. Miss Hightower recieved great acclaim when she danced in America; her native land saw little of her, however, as she was kept busy in Europe. She gradually retired after 1961, and moved to Cannes, France, where she founded the Centre de Danse Classique in 1962. She directed several companies including the Marseilles Ballet, and the La Scala Ballet; her greatest administrative challenge was directorship of the Paris Opera Ballet from 1980 to 1983, where she managed a successful reorganization. Miss Hightower was named Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur in 1975; in 1991, she and four other American Indian ballerinas were recognized with a mural in the rotunda of the Oklahoma State Capitol. (bio by: Bob Hufford) 
 
Burial:
Belle Ile en Mer, Locmaria Cemetery
Locmaria
Departement du Morbihan
Bretagne, France
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bob Hufford
Record added: Nov 05, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 31144234
Rosella Hightower
Added by: Bob Hufford
 
Rosella Hightower
Added by: Bob Hufford
 
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We had the great honor of visiting your mural in the State Capitol last week. R.I.P., Ma'am.
- Bob Hufford
 Added: Sep. 29, 2014

- Tom A. Hawk
 Added: Jan. 10, 2014

- 49boy3
 Added: Nov. 4, 2013
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