Born in Moscow, Russia, Maria Kochetkova trained at the Bolshoi Ballet School in Moscow and danced with The Royal Ballet, English National Ballet before joining San Francisco Ballet as a principal dancer from 2007 to 2018. From 2018 she is a principal guest artist with the Norwegian National Ballet in Oslo.
Maria has performed as a guest artist with the Bolshoi and Stanislavsky Theaters in Moscow, the Mariinsky and Mikhailovsky Theaters in St. Petersburg, American Ballet Theater in New York, Rome Opera, Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Tokyo Ballet, National Ballet of Cuba, Compañía Nacional de Danza in Madrid, Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Hong Kong Ballet and English National Ballet in London.
She was invited to join American Ballet Theatre as a principal dancer for the 2013-2017 seasons. Her repertory with the company includes Sylvia, Medora in Le Corsaire, Golden Cockerel, Nikiya in La Bayadère, Kitri in Don Quixote, Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty and Odette/Odile in Swan Lake.
Among Kochetkova’s major roles are Giselle; Juliet in Tomasson’s Romeo & Juliet; Odette/Odile in Swan Lake; Kitri in Nureyev's and Petipa Don Quixote; Swanilda in Balanchine’s Coppélia; Tatiana in Cranko’s Onegin; Cinderella in Wheeldon’s Cinderella; Nikiya in Makarova’s (after Petipa) La Bayadère; Sylvia in Ashton's Sylvia, Medora in Le Corsaire and Grand Pas de Deux Ballerina, Queen of the Snow, and Sugar Plum Fairy in Tomasson’s Nutcracker.
She created principal roles in Millepied's The Chairman Dances; McGregor’s Borderlands; David Dawson’s Anima Animus, Arthur Pita’s Bjork Ballet, William Forsythe’s Pas/Parts, Yuri Possokhov’s Classical Symphony, Diving into the Lilacs, Francesca da Rimini, Swimmer and Raymonda Pas de Deux; Christopher Wheeldon’s Cinderella, Within the Golden Hour and Number Nine, Alexei Ratmansky’s From Foreign Lands; oTomasson’s Caprice, On a Theme of Paganini, and Trio; Liam Scarlett’s Hummingbird; Edwaard Liang’s Symphonic Dances and Ashley Page’s Guide to Strange Places;
Her repertory also includes Ashton’s Symphonic Variations, Voices of Spring, Monotones and Sylvia; Balanchine’s Allegro Brillante, Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet (2nd movement), Divertimento No. 15, “Emeralds,” “Rubies,” "Diamonds", Scotch Symphony, Serenade, Symphony in C (2nd movement), and Theme and Variations; Elo’s Double Evil; Forsythe’s Artifact Suite, in the middle, somewhat elevated and Pas/Parts; Lifar’s Suite en Blanc; MacMillan’s Manon (bedroom pas de deux from Act I) and Winter Dreams; Jerome Robbins’ Dances at a Gathering (Pink), Other Dances, The Cage and Opus 19/The Dreamer; Lander's Etudes; McGregor’s Chroma; Justin Peck's In the Countenance of Kings; Mark Morris’ Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes, A Garden, and Sandpaper Ballet; Possokhov’s Bells pas de deux, Fusion and Raymonda Pas de Deux; Ratmansky’s Russian Seasons, Golden Cockerel and Shostakovich Trilogy (Piano Concerto #1); Tomasson’s Chaconne for Piano and Two Dancers, Criss-Cross, “Haffner” Symphony, and Nanna’s Lied; and Wheeldon’s Ghosts.
Kochetkova was featured in a video for fashion designer Julien David’s spring/summer 2015 collection, the official music video for the Cathedrals’ “Unbound” (2014); the video “Spirit of Van Cleef & Arpels” (2014); and an ad for Visa Checkout and Gap (2014). She performed the role of Juliet in the film of Tomasson’s Romeo & Juliet as part of the inaugural season of Lincoln Center at the Movies: Great American Dance. In December 2008, she was featured as the Grand Pas de Deux Ballerina in the PBS Great Performances broadcast of Tomasson’s Nutcracker, co-produced by San Francisco Ballet and KQED Public Television San Francisco, in association with Thirteen/WNET New York.
Kochetkova was nominated for a Critics’ Circle National Dance Award (U.K.) for Best Female Dancer in 2014 and for a Benois de la Danse Award in 2013, for her performance as Tatiana in Cranko’s Onegin. In 2009, she was awarded the gold medal on NBC’s show Superstars of Dance. She won “Ballerina of the Year” award at Premio Positano 2017, the Isadora Duncan Dance Award for her Performance of Giselle during the 2008 Repertory Season; gold medals at the International Ballet Competitions in Korea, in Italy in 2005 and International Ballet Competition of Luxembourg in 2003; a silver medal and the jury prize at the Varna International Ballet Competition in 2002; a silver medal at the Prix de Lausanne that same year; and a bronze medal at Moscow International Competition in 2001.