Born in Moscow, Maria Kochetkova trained at the Bolshoi Ballet School for eight years before dancing with The Royal Ballet and English National Ballet in London. She joined the San Francisco Ballet as a Principal Dancer in 2007. Her classical repertoire includes the title role in Giselle, Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Kitri in Don Quixote, Juliet in Romeo & Juliet, Odette-Odile in Swan Lake, Clara and the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker and the title role in Alice in Wonderland. She has also performed in George Balanchine's Coppelia (as Swanilda), Divertimento No. 15, Jewels (Emeralds and Rubies), Serenade and Theme and Variations, Symphony in C (2nd movement), William Forsythe's in the middle, somewhat elevated and Artifact Suite, Kenneth MacMillan's Winter Dreams, Frederick Ashton's Symphonic Variations, Wayne McGregor's Chroma (opening night for USA premiere) and ballets by David Dawson, Derek Deane, Jorma Elo, Mark Morris, Yuri Possokhov, Alexei Ratmansky, Jerome Robbins, Helgi Tomasson, Christopher Wheeldon and Hans Van Manen.
Kochetkova has created principal roles in Yuri Possokhov's Diving into the Lilacs, Raymonda Pas de Deux and Classical Symphony, Helgi Tomasson's On a Theme of Paganini and Trio, and Christopher Wheeldon's Within the Golden Hour and Number 9.
She performs as a guest artist with the Bolshoi and Stanislavsky Theaters in Moscow, the Mikhailovsky Theater in St. Petersburg, the Tokyo Ballet in Japan including performances as Kitri in Don Quixote for the opening night of the 2009 NBS World Ballet Festival in Tokyo and with the Bolshoi's Reflections project (2011) at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Orange County and the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.
Kochetkova performed the Grand Pas de Deux in San Francisco Ballet's Nutcracker, which was broadcast by PBS in 2008, and won the solo gold medal in the NBC series Superstars of Dance, which was watched by over 10 million viewers.
Kochetkova's prizes and awards include the Isadora Duncan Award for the role of Giselle and medals at the International Ballet Competitions in Seoul (Gold, 2005), Rome (Gold, 2005), Riety (Gold, 2005), Luxembourg (Gold, 2003), Varna (Silver and the Press Jury Prize, 2002), Moscow (Bronze, 2001). She is also a winner of the Prix de Lausanne (2002).