Maria Kochetkova and Sebastian Kloborg in Once I had a Love, choreography Sebastian Kloborg, music Blondie and Philip Glass (Crabtree Remix). Stand With Ukraine, Ballet For Peace fundraising gala, Teatro di San Carlo, Napoli, Italy, 4.4.2022.
Maria Kochetkova was born in Moscow. She trained at The Bolshoi Ballet Academy for eight years. After winning the Prix de Lausanne in 2002, Kochetkova danced with The Royal Ballet as an apprentice, then later danced at the English National Ballet for four years, during which she mostly danced corps roles but also the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker. In 2007, after Kochetkova took classes with the San Francisco Ballet, she joined the company as a principal dancer at the invitation of Helgi Tomasson. In 2015, Kochetkova joined the American Ballet Theatre but remained a principal dancer in San Francisco Ballet, and split her time between San Francisco and New York City. She remained a principal of ABT until 2017. In 2018, Kochetkova left San Francisco Ballet, joined Finnish National Ballet in the 2020/21 season, because she wanted more freedom and to be closer to her mother, who lives in Moscow. Kochetkova now performs as a freelance dancer. She danced with the Norwegian National Ballet and Dresden Semperoper Ballett as a principal guest artist, and returned to English National Ballet as a guest artist.
Sebastian Kloborg was born in Copenhagen in 1986. At the age of 13 he started his studies at the Royal Danish Ballet School, graduating in 2003 and joined the Royal Danish Ballet that same year. From 2012-14 he danced with Gauthier Dance in Stuttgart. In 2016 he went freelance as a dancer and choreographer. From 2017-2021 he was a choreographic fellow with Danish Dance Theatre. In 2018 he was Knighted by Queen Margrethe the II of Denmark to the Order of the Dannebrog. From 2018 he has been working closely with stage director Amanda Ginman to develop physical theatre with both actors and dancers. Won the National Theatre Award for Best Dance Performance as part of Kammerballetten with Absolute Pitch-Black in 2020. In 2020 he received Kronprinsparrets Stjernedryspris. He performs regularly around the world with Maria Kochetkova.
Photos by Jack Devant © with kind permission of Teatro di San Carlo, special thanks to Giulia Romito