Press Releases

April 16, 2018

Maria Kochetkova to Depart SF Ballet Following the 2018 Season

SAN FRANCISCO, Monday, April 16, 2018—SF Ballet has announced that Principal Dancer Maria Kochetkova will be leaving the Company following the 2018 Repertory Season. Kochetkova, who joined the Company as a principal dancer in 2007, will give her last performance during the Unbound Festival (date to be announced).

“Masha is a beautiful dancer and it’s been a pleasure to watch her grow and further develop her exceptional talent during the past eleven years here at SF Ballet,” said SF Ballet Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson. "Along with San Francisco audiences, we will miss her, but we wish her all the best in her next adventure.”

“I’m very lucky and grateful for the career I had with San Francisco Ballet. I want to thank the dancers I shared the stage with and all the choreographers and teachers that I worked with in the past eleven years who made me the dancer I am now,” Kochetkova noted. “I’ll be forever grateful to Helgi for putting his trust in me, for taking a risk and giving me a principal contract. Thank you to the people in the audience for coming to see my performances and supporting me. Thank you to everyone who helps to make this Company a special place. The time has come for me to move on to other opportunities. I don’t know what my next big step is going to be, but I’m excited to see where it takes me.”

Kochetkova has danced leading roles in full-length ballets with the Company, including in Tomasson’s Giselle, Nutcracker, Romeo & Juliet, and Swan Lake; Tomasson/Possokhov’s Don Quixote; Balanchine’s Coppélia; Cranko’s Onegin; and Wheeldon’s Cinderella©. She created principal roles in Forsythe’s Pas/Parts 2016; Liang’s Symphonic Dances; McGregor’s Borderlands; Millepied’s The Chairman Dances; Page’s Guide to Strange Places; Possokhov’s Classical Symphony, Diving into the Lilacs, Francesca da Rimini, and Swimmer; Ratmansky’s From Foreign Lands; Tomasson’s Caprice, On a Theme of Paganini, and Trio; and Wheeldon’s Within the Golden Hour©.

Her repertory also includes Ashton’s Symphonic Variations; Balanchine’s Allegro Brillante, Diamonds, Emeralds, Rubies, Serenade, Symphony in C, and Theme and Variations; Forsythe’s Artifact Suite and in the middle, somewhat elevated; MacMillan’s Winter Dreams; Makarova’s (after Petipa) “Kingdom of the Shades” from La Bayadère, Act II; McGregor’s Chroma; Le Corsaire Pas de Deux (after Petipa); Peck’s In the Countenance of Kings; Ratmansky’s Shostakovich Trilogy; Robbins’ Dances at a Gathering; and Scarlett’s Hummingbird.

She danced Juliet in the 2015 film of Tomasson’s Romeo & Juliet and Grand Pas de Deux Ballerina in Tomasson’s Nutcracker on PBS’ Great Performances. An in-demand guest artist, Kochetkova performs frequently all over the world. Her honors include an Isadora Duncan Dance Award for Giselle, gold medals at three international ballet competitions, and a Benois de la Danse Award nomination.

San Francisco Ballet
San Francisco Ballet, long recognized for pushing boundaries in dance, has enjoyed a long and rich tradition of artistic “firsts” since its founding in 1933, including performing the first American productions of Swan Lake and Nutcracker, as well as the first 20th-century American Coppélia. SF Ballet is one of the three largest ballet companies in the United States and currently presents more than 100 performances annually, both locally and internationally. The mission of SF Ballet is to share its joy of dance with the widest possible audience—in its community and worldwide—and to provide the highest caliber of dance training in its School. Under the direction of Helgi Tomasson, the Company has achieved an international reputation as one of the preeminent ballet companies in the world. For more information, visit

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