Meeting Maria – A Prima Ballerina in Sun Valley

There’s a new girl in town, and she’s pretty hot stuff.

To help get the Wood River Valley excited for the San Francisco Ballet performance here next month, the talented Maria Kochetkova, Principal Dancer with the ballet, has been making guest appearances all around town. Baby Sun and I went up to the Sun Valley Club last week to get up close and personal with the prima ballerina.

Baby Sun was enamored by the beautiful Maria Kochetkova

Okay, okay, so she’s not the real thing, but it was still a lot of fun to hang out with her, not to mention a great photo op (which would have been better if I could have convinced Baby Sun to stand still…).

This is the first time the ballet will be performing in Sun Valley. America’s oldest professional ballet company is squeezing in a stop in the Rockies between their Moscow and London engagements as part of its 2012 tour. It’s also the first time carbon copies of its beautiful creatures will be gracing the streets of a city.

Dan Drackett, Chair of the Sponsors’ Committee for San Francisco Ballet in Sun Valley, and his long-time friend Robert Smelick, vice chair of the San Francisco Ballet Association, came up with the idea for the cardboard ballerina when they were perusing the giant posters they had made to promote the event.

“We thought, wouldn’t it be fun to have life-size cutouts made and put them all around town?” he said. The Ballet agreed and since last week Maria has popped up at The Christy, Zenergy and The Sun Valley Club. This weekend she’ll be hanging out at River Run. If anyone would like to invite her to come to their pad, post a comment below and we’ll see what we can do.

Maria herself was quite surprised to hear she was already in Sun Valley. I tweeted her my picture of Baby Sun cozying up to her and she responded with a “That’s amazing!” – promptly posting the picture to her instagram account saying “Apparently there is fake Masha living in Sun Valley.”

However, the future of her clone is uncertain. Dan Drackett said they are thinking about having the company sign the replica and then gifting it to a local non-profit. “But if people have ideas, we’re open to them,” he said. (Post any below and we’ll pass them on).

But more importantly, the Russian dancer will surely be a spectacular sight in the flesh. Maria has graced the stage in the title role of Gisele, as Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Kitri in Don Quixote and Juliet in Romeo & Juliet to name just a few.

Catch a sneak peek of her in action in this San Francisco Ballet video (where she also talks about returning home to Moscow as part of this tour), before she and her company hit the special springy stage at the Sun Valley Pavilion for one night only on July 8.

Happy Trails!

Mrs. Sun

Details: San Francisco Ballet performs at the Sun Valley Pavilion Sunday evening, July 8. Available tickets range from $25 to $250. Special packages including one night’s lodging and two tickets for $184.50 per person are also available. Call 800.786.8259 or click here to buy tickets