Reverence: A Noble Radiance

In reaching the top, how much is talent and how much is sweat?
For me, it was definitely more determination than talent. I know principals all over the world who are actually not naturally talented, but have worked very hard.

What are you most proud of?
My productions of La Sylphide. Staging it at the Bolshoi was an enormous personal achievement, because they’d just done a different production of La Sylphide, and I was able to change the dancers’ opinions of the ballet.

You were trained in Bournonville technique. What do you love most about it?
For a dancer it’s an amazing technical base. Maybe especially for boys, because for all the jumps you’re not using your arms to get you in the air. It comes from the stomach. That core strength makes everything else easier.

What’s your biggest indulgence?
I’m a shopaholic. If you let me loose in Dolce & Gabbana and I see something, I just think, ‘I work so hard, I should have it.’ It’s not good. I’m also a bit of a sparkler—I always wear gold sneakers. I have lots of pairs.

You trained as a tenor—do you still sing?
I traveled most of Europe singing, but I stopped at 16 when I began to focus on ballet. Lately, I started again and even make pop songs on my computer!

You and Alina Cojocaru are on- and offstage partners. What is your favorite role to perform with her?
Giselle is very special for us both. We’ve traveled the world with this ballet, and we can do so many things together in it.

What talent do you have that few people know about?
I’m not bad at designing costumes. I’ve done a few, for The Royal’s production of Napoli, for instance. I also used to do a lot of circus stuff, so I can juggle, ride a monobike and do magic tricks!

What advice do you have for students hoping to be professional dancers?
Unless your heart and mind are telling you that this is really what you want, then forget about it. It’s too hard to not love it.

What inspires you?
Alina.

Latest Posts


Maria Kochetkova. Darian Volkova, Courtesy Kochetkova

Maria Kochetkova on How COVID-19 Affected Her Freelance Career, and Her New Home at Finnish National Ballet

When international star Maria Kochetkova embarked on a freelance career three years ago, she never envisioned how a global pandemic would affect it. In 2018, the Russian-born ballerina left the security of San Francisco Ballet, a company she called home for more than a decade, for the globe-trotting life of a guest star. Before the pandemic, Kochetkova managed her own performing schedule and was busier than ever, enjoying artistic freedom and expanding her creative horizons. This all changed in March 2020, when she saw her booming career—and her jet-setting lifestyle—change almost overnight.

After months of uncertainty, Kochetkova landed at Finnish National Ballet, where she is a principal dancer for the 2020–21 season. Pointe spoke with her about her time during the quarantine and what helped her to get through it, her new life in Helsinki, and what keeps her busy and motivated these days.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
DTH's Alexandra Hutchinson and Derek Brockington work out with trainer Lily Overmyer at Studio IX. Photo by Joel Prouty, Courtesy Hutchinson.

Working Out With DTH’s Alexandra Hutchinson

Despite major pandemic shutdowns in New York City, Alexandra Hutchinson has been HIIT-ing her stride. Between company class with Dance Theater of Harlem and projects like the viral video "Dancing Through Harlem"—which she co-directed with roommate and fellow DTH dancer Derek Brockington—Hutchinson has still found time to cross-train. She shares her motivation behind her killer high-intensity interval training at Studio IX on Manhattan's Upper West Side.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Getty Images

As Ballet Looks Toward Its Future, Let's Talk About Its Troubling Emotional Demands

As a ballet student, I distinctively remember being told that to survive ballet as a profession, one must be exceptionally thick-skinned and resilient. I always assumed it was because of the physically demanding nature of ballet: long rehearsal hours, challenging and stressful performances, and physical pain.

It wasn't until I joined a ballet company that I learned the true meaning behind those words: that the reason one needs thick skin is not because of the physical demands, but because of the unfair and unnecessary emotional demands.

Undoubtedly, emotional and physical strength go hand in hand to some extent. But the kind of emotional demand I am talking about here is different; it is not the strength one finds in oneself in moments of fatigue or unwillingness. It is the strength one must have when being bullied, humiliated, screamed at, manipulated or harassed.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks