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Maria became Artistic Director of New Jersey Ballet in November 2021, and her appointment has seen a new creative energy fuel an artistic renaissance within the institution. In a very short period of time, Ms. Kowroski has expanded the repertory of New Jersey Ballet to include a number of works by renowned choreographers, including George Balanchine, Christopher Wheeldon, and Jerome Robbins. She recently commissioned a new work by Harrison Ball, principal dancer at New York City Ballet. The new work included a collaboration with world-renowned fashion designer Zac Posen, and the premiere on November 19, 2022, received rave reviews and a standing ovation.


Ms. Kowroski’s new artistic vision calls for an expansion of workweeks for the artists by adding performances and venues. Forming new collaborations with arts organizations and growing community programming that establishes diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. Ms. Kowroski plans to leverage her experience and extensive dance world connections to bring new repertory to communities throughout New Jersey.

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MARIA KOWROSKI was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she began her ballet training at age seven with the School of Grand Rapids Ballet. Ms. Kowroski entered the School of American Ballet (SAB), 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, Ms. Kowroski was promoted to the rank of soloist, and in the spring of 1999, she was promoted to principal dancer. 


Ms. Kowroski has danced many principal roles in the Balanchine repertory including, Agon, Apollo, Concerto Barocco, Mozartiana, Diamonds, Rubies and Emeralds from Jewels, Prodigal Son, Stravinsky Violin Concerto, Chaconne and Bugaku. Ms. Kowroski has had the pleasure of being created on by several choreographers including Jerome Robbins, Christopher Wheeldon, Mauro Bigonzetti, Justin Peck, Peter Martins, Boris Eifman, and Helgi Tomasson. She has also had the great privilege of working with the great choreographers Alexei Ratmansky and William Forsythe. Ms. Kowroski was a guest artist with the Mariinsky ballet performing Swan Lake in 2003, a mixed Balanchine program in 2006 and 2019. In 1994 Ms. Kowroski was the recipient of the Princess Grace Award and in 2011 she received the Jerome Robbins award. Ms. Kowroski  joined New Jersey Ballet Company as the Acting Artistic Director in November 2021 and became Artistic Director in September 2022.

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