Initial PGF Award: Dance Scholarship, 1994
Additional PGF Awards: 2006 Statue Award
Maria Kowroski was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she began her ballet training at age seven with the School of Grand Rapids Ballet. Maria entered the School of American Ballet, the official school of New York City Ballet, in the fall of 1992. She became an apprentice with New York City Ballet in the summer of 1994 and was invited to join the company as a member of the corps de ballet in January of 1995. In the spring of 1997, Maria was promoted to the rank of soloist and in the spring of 1999, she was promoted to principal dancer.
Since joining New York City Ballet, Maria has appeared in many of the works from the company’s repertory, dancing featured roles in George Balanchine’s: Agon, Apollo, Concerto Barocco, Firebird, The Four Temperaments, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ (Sugarplum Fairy, Dewdrop, and Coffee), “Emeralds,” “Rubies,” and “Diamonds” from Jewels, Kammermusik No.2, Liebeslieder Walzer, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Titania), Mozartiana, Prodigal Son, Serenade, Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, Swan Lake, Symphony in C (second movement), and La Valse among others. She has danced roles in ballets by Jerome Robbins including Antique Epigraphs, The Cage, The Concert, Fanfare, I’m Old Fashioned, In G Major, and Moves. She has performed in Ulysses Dove’s Red Angels, Eliot Feld’s The Unanswered Question, and Peter Martins’s Harmonielehre, River of Light, Todo Buenos Aires, and The Waltz Project among others.
She originated featured roles in Jorma Elo’s Slice to Sharp, Susan Stroman’s “The Blue Necklace” from Double Feature and “Blossom Got Kissed” from Duke!, Benjamin Millepied’s Double Aria, Helgi Tomasson’s Prism, and Christopher Wheeldon’s After the Rain and Variations Sérieuses.
Maria has appeared in two Live from Lincoln Center broadcasts on PBS, and she has performed as a guest artist with the Mariinsky Ballet and Munich Ballet.
Since winning a Princess Grace Award in 1994 at the beginning of her professional career with New York City Ballet, Maria has danced scores of roles in the classical ballet repertoire. She is a familiar and beloved face to ballet-goers in New York.