SF Ballet Nutcracker dates and reviews

Photo by Erik Tomasson

I'll be performing in San Francisco Ballet's Nutcracker on the following dates:

Friday December 9th (Opening Night), 7pm - Grand Pas de Deux (with Gennadi Nedvigin)

Saturday December 10th, 7pm - Snow Queen (with Gennadi Nedvigin)

Tuesday December 13th, 7pm - Snow Queen (with Gennadi Nedvigin)

Thursday December 15th, 2pm - Grand Pas de Deux (with Joan Boada)

Saturday December 17th, 7pm - Snow Queen (with Pascal Molat)

Tuesday December 20th, 2pm - Grand Pas de Deux (with Gennadi Nedvigin)

Wednesday December 21st, 7pm - Snow Queen (with Pascal Molat)

Saturday December 24th, 11am - Grand Pas de Deux (with Joan Boada)

Tuesday December 27th, 7pm - Grand Pas de Deux (with Gennadi Nedvigin)



"The pinnacle of the evening, as it should be, was the grand pas de deux essayed by Maria Kochetkova and Gennadi Nedvigin... Kochetkova, for her part, is both exquisitely refined and remarkably believable as a recently transformed woman-child dancing with wonderment in her eyes." San Francisco Chronicle

"The evening closed with an immaculate performance of the Grand Pas by Maria Kochetkova, the tiny, Russian-born, Bolshoi-trained great-hearted ballerina who came to SF several years back and has made herself a star here in record time. Her variation ends with a diagonal line of sharp-cut steps that sprang to pointe and streaked back upstage like diamonds in a bracelet." Bay Area Reporter

"What sets Kochetkova apart, though, is her interpretation of the solo variation. She hears the Russian folk tunes inherent in the music, picking out the delicate rhythms and channeling her inner Tsar Maiden. A pure delight." California Literary Review

San Francisco Ballet's Nutcracker - my dates

I will be performing in San Francisco Ballet's Nutcracker on the following dates:

Saturday, December 11th, 2pm - Sugar Plum Fairy

Sunday, December 12th, 7pm - Snow Queen (with Pascal Molat)

Tuesday, December 14th, 7pm - Snow Queen (with Pascal Molat)

Wednesday, December 15th, 7pm - Grand Pas de Deux (with Joan Boada)

Thursday, December 16th, 7pm - Snow Queen (with Gennadi Nedvigin)

Friday, December 17th, 7pm - Grand Pas de Deux (with Joan Boada)

Sunday, December 19th, 7pm - Grand Pas de Deux (with Gennadi Nedvigin)

Tuesday, December 21st, 7pm - Sugar Plum Fairy

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2pm - Sugar Plum Fairy

Wednesday, December 22nd, 7pm - Snow Queen (with Gennadi Nedvigin)

Friday, December 24th, 11am - Grand Pas de Deux (with Gennadi Nedvigin)

Monday, December 27th, 2pm - Grand Pas de Deux (with Gennadi Nedvigin)

If you can't make it to San Francisco you can also watch my performance on PBS between 17th and 25th December

3rd week casting of The Nutcracker

Photo ©Erik Tomasson

Tuesday matinee, December 22nd - Grand Pas de Deux with Gennadi Nedvigin
Wednesday matinee, December 23rd - Sugar Plum Fairy
Thursday matinee, December 24th - Snow Queen with Gennadi Nedvigin
Saturday matinee, December 26th - Grand Pas de Deux with Gennadi Nedvigin

Buy tickets

After my matinee on Saturday I'm off to the airport to go to St. Petersburg for a gala with Gennadi here is information

San Francisco Ballet's 'Nutcracker' on TV and DVD

My performance in the Grand Pas de Deux from last year's Nutcracker will be broadcast by PBS on Wednesday 17th December at 8pm and is also available on DVD from Amazon.

Casting on IMDB

"Having three tries at perfection didn't alleviate the extra pressure on 24-year-old principal Maria Kochetkova, who found herself cast in the climactic Grand Pas de Deux opposite hunky, buoyant Davit Karapetyan as one of her first assignments with a brand-new company.

"It was a new stage, a new audience, a new ballet to me," said Kochetkova, who trained at Russia's Bolshoi School and joined the San Francisco Ballet from the English National Ballet. "I found out I was cast for this two weeks before. In that pas de deux, you have to walk right into the spotlight, you have to dance right away."

Taking a break after the daily company class, the doll-faced Kochetkova was critical of her sparkling performance after seeing the video a few days earlier. "The film is really beautiful, though of course for myself I see things I would do better," she said. Still, she was full of praise for the choreography - "It's really big, and I like big movements" - and gratitude to Tomasson: "He really believes in me and believes I can do it better onstage than in the studio," she said. "I felt before him I hadn't realized the things I can actually do.""
San Francisco Chronicle

San Francisco Ballet ''Nutcracker'' Opening Night

"There were surprises to fuel little-girl ballerina dreams and grown-up balletomane ravings alike, and sometimes - especially in the sensational debut of the new Russian-trained principal Maria Kochetkova - both at once.

Kochetkova, a 23-year-old recruit from the English National Ballet, is tiny and light, a sparrow. In the closing Grand Pas de Deux, she seemed hardly to touch the floor, and when she leapt toward her Nutcracker cavalier, Davit Karapetyan, for a diabolically difficult shoulder-sit, she landed as though she'd simply flitted to a fresh branch.

Her variation (you know the famous music from the game Tetris and a million TV ads, come on, sing along) was a marvel of birdlike crispness. And don't forget her fouette turns in the coda: copious doubles so natural you nearly giggled. Now throw on top of all of this Karapetyan's own virtuosity: sissones so high and split in the air they were like scissors snapping open and shut. The response from parents and children both was rapturous."

San Francisco Chronicle

"Maria Kochetkova, the company's newest import from Russia (via the English National Ballet), is a "different" dancer. Quite without the thin, elongated figure of a typical ballerina, the tiny dancer has it all: a self-possessed, intense, regal artist, she exudes the air of a genuine star."


"It wasn't until the Grand Pas de Deux by petite firebrand Maria Kochetkova and Davit Karapetyan that magical Tchiakovsky again met lush, magical dancing. Armenian-born Karapetyan is an athletic yet lyrical dancer who can combine geometrically pure virtuosity with a certain warm irony, as he did Thursday during the Grand Pas de Deux. His turns in second rotatedwith clockwork surety, and his leaps and beats were preternaturally secure. He partnered Russian-born Kochetkova, who combined a sparkling blend of robust attack and precise lyricism, effortlessly. And it was then that full magic of "Nutcracker" returned, the pairsewing up the night with enough wizardry to meet Drosselmeyer toe to toe."

Contra Costa Times

ENB's Nutcracker at the Coliseum

"On the first night, Maria Kochetkova was a vivacious Clara. She has a sweeping line, and dances with expansive glee." Independent
"With the exception of Maria Kochetkova's fleet Clara and Fernando Bufala's whipcrack Russian, the performances tended to be fine rather than great..." Telegraph
"All this is achieved partly by the prominence given throughout to Drosselmeyer, presented as showman, magician and also storyteller. Fabian Reimair, good-looking and surprisingly young for this role, played it on opening night with cheerful charm, making much of a strong personality and polished technique. Young Maria Kochetkova matched him equally as the heroine, little Clara - a real poppet." Stage
"Maria Kochetkova made an elegant debut in Clara's russet bob and white satin pyjamas, skimming through feathery lifts with Yat-Sen Chang's springy Nutcracker prince." Financial Times
Rehearsal of Sugar Plum Fairy fuettes after matinee performance of Clara: