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Maria Kochetkova leaving San Francisco Ballet

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I read a European turned principal left Boston after a couple of years to freelance and had cancer. I wonder how she pays for anything.

 

Masha's abt swan mystified. I felt like i was watching a gymnast who didn't know what to do with her arms. Her legs  were fine.  But she was executing steps.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Vs1 said:

I read a European turned principal left Boston after a couple of years to freelance and had cancer. I wonder how she pays for anything.

 

Masha's abt swan mystified. I felt like i was watching a gymnast who didn't know what to do with her arms. Her legs  were fine.  But she was executing steps.

 

 

You are speaking of Petra Conti.  She is dancing with LA Ballet, and her husband, up until now at least, remained with Boston Ballet.

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4 hours ago, Helene said:

There is no one path or one realistic freelance scenario.  It depends on the individual dancer's status network, agent, demands, willingness to travel, personal finances, family situation, and versatility, and also whether they are interested and/or willing to put together a touring group for a given project or there are principal guest artist contracts available. For someone with Kochetkova's reputation and network, and that she was invited pretty constantly for individual galas, of which there are many, I don't think she'll be unemployed much more than she wants to be.  Her experience should be very different from the one Barry Kerollis documented in his blog, Life of a Freelance Dancer.

Agreed. Freelancing is daunting if the dancer has no reputation yet with the public. Kochetkova is already the "gala queen", attending dozens of events each year, so for her, it would not be a struggle to find the necessary amount of work. But as other's have mentioned, that's an awful lot of air travel - does she still want to live like that? I'd love to know what her air miles count looks like.  ;)

3 hours ago, Buddy said:

In regard to Maria, I do have to disagree, although our viewing experiences may have been quite different. As I posted earlier, I found one of her Swan Lakes with ABT to be one of the finest ballet performances that I've ever seen and I've seen some great ones as I'm sure you have as well being based in Moscow. The several other times that I've seen her I was also highly impressed.  

More good news for traditionalists: her Giselle has been excellent in the past.
In the West, it has been her dancing in contemporary works that sets her apart from her Russian compatriots: while most Russian dancers have struggled to look believable in modern works, it's now second nature for Masha to dance in these pieces:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XS8hCnmsLA

Balanchine works are not usually her strong point, but for many people, she was impressive in Robbins' The Cage. So, you just never know. Her contemporary skills keep improving, and she's always working on her classical technique with people like Marat Daukayev (in Los Angeles). I don't think we've really seen the last of her in California...

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Vs1 said:

Masha's abt swan mystified. I felt like i was watching a gymnast who didn't know what to do with her arms. Her legs  were fine.  But she was executing steps.

 

 

I respect Kochetkova’s technique and capabilities. I guess that I’m too traditional in my taste for proportions, height and general physique which, I acknowledge, is just my personal preference in dancers (men & women) and does not reflect capabilities.  That’s why I usually wait to casting to be announced before buying tix, especially for the major classics.

Buddy, at WB, the Snow King is mostly a partnering role with a few solo moments. Sarabia was very fine, in great shape. Glad to hear that he is teaching at the WB school.

Edited by CharlieH

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agree its the mom, Rolando was one of the greats.  I'm so fortunate to have seen many of his performances just after he defected.

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5 hours ago, Vs1 said:

Masha's abt swan mystified. I felt like i was watching a gymnast who didn't know what to do with her arms. Her legs  were fine.  But she was executing steps.

 

 

I would not judge it as harshly, but from what I saw of her in ABT (including Swan Lake) I came to think of her as a "utility ballerina." She gets the job done, which is admirable, but I never saw a creative, artistic imagination or special musicality. Those qualities can be few and far between, although NYCB has quite a stable right now. A dancer like Kochetkova can be a big loss to a company, but I can't see it as devastating.

This said, my only experience with SFB was their visit to NYC a few years ago, so I can't speak as someone who has seen her in her home company season after season.

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5 hours ago, pherank said:

that's an awful lot of air travel - does she still want to live like that?

Earlier this month I spent 12 hours on a flight from Munich to San Francisco. I wouldn't exactly call it a good time. Sure, Asian destinations are closer from San Francisco than Miami, but if most of Kochetkova's gala destinations are in Europe, I can think of home bases much more convenient than the Pacific coast of the United States.

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I always preferred doing the longer red-eyes from the West coast to Europe that went over the Arctic.  By the time you get fed and then woken up again going from NY to Europe, you only get a couple of hours of rest, which always left me shattered, whereas there's a good six-seven hour stretch of rest from Seattle between meals.

But a European base probably makes most sense for her, because there are so many galas and companies there.

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Posted (edited)
Just now, vipa said:

I would not judge it as harshly, but from what I saw of her in ABT (including Swan Lake) I came to think of her as a "utility ballerina." She gets the job done, which is admirable, but I never saw a creative, artistic imagination or special musicality. Those qualities can be few and far between, although NYCB has quite a stable right now. A dancer like Kochetkova can be a big loss to a company, but I can't see it as devastating.

This said, my only experience with SFB was their visit to NYC a few years ago, so I can't speak as someone who has seen her in her home company season after season.

I don't. I just stated my observations. I don't find a person good or bad or worthy of punishment because she lacks acting skills.

You were lucky to see SFB in NY, as was I. I loved YYT. I thought Masha moved in a way enjoyed by the young in McGregor, whose ballets I have spent a lot of money on and still do not understand.  I don't understand Ferri's relationship with him, either. 

(Then again, I saw people whoop and holler at Martha Graham, at a performance that was filled to the brim, which did not occur at virtually any ballet I saw at ABT or NYCB, or the Russian, Parisian, English, or Chinese visitors to NY (except for the claque), and I did not get that, either).

Edited by Vs1
error

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Just now, volcanohunter said:

Earlier this month I spent 12 hours on a flight from Munich to San Francisco. I wouldn't exactly call it a good time. Sure, Asian destinations are closer from San Francisco than Miami, but if most of Kochetkova's gala destinations are in Europe, I can think of home bases much more convenient than the Pacific coast of the United States.

Do European galas sell out? I have been to empty galas many times in the States, and people are begged to attend. Without a sponsor, I still don't see how one earns a living.  Although I think Masha will have a lot of opportunities, unlike others. She has a great talent for self-promotion, and a devoted following that enjoys her type of work.

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well usually, galas are for money, being in a company is for art sake

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I think it depends on the company and what the rep and casting are.  Galas also provide opportunities to work with choreographers on small pieces made for them.  Also, real life can impact careers beyond artistic goals.

Kochetkova could very well become a Principal Guest artist in one or more companies and/or join another company in the future.  

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she should. It's extremely difficult to keep high level without performing regularly full length ballets and attending company classes. 

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5 hours ago, Vs1 said:

You were lucky to see SFB in NY, as was I. I loved YYT. I thought Masha moved in a way enjoyed by the young in McGregor, whose ballets I have spent a lot of money on and still do not understand.  I don't understand Ferri's relationship with him, either.

I saw Kochetkova dozens of times. She is BY FAR best in classics. In demanding classics she was without peers at SFB in recent years, Chung being the second best, but lacking Kochetkova's refinement and attention to detail. Yuan yuan Tan is 41 and her days of dancing demanding classics are over. She may be dancing neo/quasi/pseudoclassics for many years to come, though, if she wishes, Lorena Feijóo danced at SFB for many years past her 40th birthday. The SFB repertoire allows that.

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14 hours ago, silvermash said:

well usually, galas are for money, being in a company is for art sake

As most theatres and ballet companies are state-subsidized in Europe, galas are not for fund-raising there. Tickets are more expensive, yes, but normally they sell out very fast. For the annual Nijinsky Gala at Hamburg Ballet, you even have to get in some kind of lottery to get tickets.

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3 hours ago, Fosca said:

As most theatres and ballet companies are state-subsidized in Europe, galas are not for fund-raising there. Tickets are more expensive, yes, but normally they sell out very fast. For the annual Nijinsky Gala at Hamburg Ballet, you even have to get in some kind of lottery to get tickets.

In the UK a fair number of galas are for charity though, some do go towards specific projects such as arts education.

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Yes, and there are lots of Aids galas to donate money to charities, but I hardly know about galas to raise money for the companies themselves, like in the US.

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One of the things Millepied brought to Paris Opera Ballet was the fundraising gala.

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Posted (edited)

After the end of the SFB season, Masha doesn't miss a beat: 2 more shows scheduled for Europe: "Sleeping Beauty pdd Berlin @staatsballettberlin May 17th, Benois de la Danse (Bolshoi Theater Moscow) @bolshoi_theatre June 6th"

https://www.instagram.com/p/BiNmTk6ha8T/?taken-by=balletrusse

Dores Andre's commemorative photo of Kochetkova:

 

Edited by pherank

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1 hour ago, pherank said:

After the end of the SFB season, Masha doesn't miss a beat: 2 more shows scheduled for Europe: "Sleeping Beauty pdd Berlin @staatsballettberlin May 17th,

Wow - thanks for the info pherank. Have never seen Masha and glad to know that I will be seeing her at this Polina & Friends gala (wish she would be doing something a bit more lively :D)

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14 minutes ago, mnacenani said:

Wow - thanks for the info pherank. Have never seen Masha and glad to know that I will be seeing her at this Polina & Friends gala (wish she would be doing something a bit more lively :D)

Yes, a bit ironic that she's dancing a Sleeping Beauty PDD, rather than something more contemporary, but, she did perform in SB this past season at SFB.

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12 hours ago, pherank said:

Yes, a bit ironic that she's dancing a Sleeping Beauty PDD, rather than something more contemporary, but, she did perform in SB this past season at SFB.

Hi Pherank. I get the impression from several posts that Maria is more appreciated for her contemporary ability. Yet the several times that I saw her she did classics. Two of them were the complete Swan Lake with ABT in NYC, both excellent and one being one the finest that I've ever seen.

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I am in a state of denial: I keep reading the title as "Maria Kochetkova Leaving *For* San Francisco Ballet."

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1 hour ago, Buddy said:

Hi Pherank. I get the impression from several posts that Maria is more appreciated for her contemporary ability. Yet the several times that I saw her she did classics. Two of them were the complete Swan Lake with ABT in NYC, both excellent and one being one the finest that I've ever seen.

I would say that Kochetkova is one of the rare breed of dancers who can perform believably in traditional classical roles and in contemporary pieces demanding very different techniques. The SFB repertoire gets some of the credit for that, since SFB dancers are expected to dance all ballets/roles - unlike companies where dancers can specialize. MK has many side projects going on, many of which happen to involve contemporary choreography. She puts in an insane amount of rehearsal hours to make it all work. I hope she is entering an era where she relaxes more.  ;)

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4 hours ago, pherank said:

I would say that Kochetkova is one of the rare breed of dancers who can perform believably in traditional classical roles and in contemporary pieces demanding very different techniques. The SFB repertoire gets some of the credit for that, since SFB dancers are expected to dance all ballets/roles - unlike companies where dancers can specialize. MK has many side projects going on, many of which happen to involve contemporary choreography. She puts in an insane amount of rehearsal hours to make it all work. I hope she is entering an era where she relaxes more.  😉

Not having ever seen her do contemporary I would award the prize for the best classicist at contemporary unequivocally to the Mariinsky's Yekaterina Kondaurova who can probably dance anything. The Miami City Ballet leans more to Balanchine and then contemporary, both of which I think that they do exceptionally well. I've never seen them do classical, but I would guess that their strength is in the two mentioned.

I really appreciate your concern for Maria's busy schedule. There are other ballerinas that I wish would ease up somewhat also. 

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