First Soloist Stuttgarter Ballet
Was born in Talgar (Kazakhstan) on October 26, 1974. She studied at the National Ballet Academy of Alma-Ata, joined the National Ballet of Kazakhstan and was quickly promoted to soloist. Having German ancestors, she left Russia in 1995 for Germany. For a short period she danced with the Ballet Krefeld-Mönchengladbach.
In September 1996 she joined the Bavarian State Ballet as a corps de ballet dancer but was promoted to soloist the following season. Already in her first season she danced Olga in John Cranko’s Onegin, the 3rd movement in George Balanchine’s Symphony in C. John Neumeier chose her as first cast of Olympia in his Lady of the Camellias, and she was also chosen as second cast for the title role. In 1998 she danced Nikija in the B-premiere of Patrice Bart’s La Bayadère. In the same season she was Helena in Neumeier’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Odette/Odile in Swan Lake. She was promoted to principal dancer in 1999. Since then she has danced many leading roles of the classical and modern repertoire, including Giselle, Juliet in John Cranko’s Romeo and Juliet, Kitri in Don Quixote and Cinderella in the premiere of John Neumeier’s A Cinderella Story as well as one of the ballerinas in Leonid Jacobson’s Pas de Quatre. Her modern repertoire includes William Forsythe’s the second detail, Balanchine’s Who Cares? and Four Temperaments and Lucinda Childs’ Händel/Corelli.
After dancing Lescaut’s Mistress in Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon, she gave her debut in the title role in January 2001. New roles for 2002 were the title role in Raymonda, Jerome Robbins’ In the Night, George Balanchine’s Brahms-Schönberg Quartet and Bianca in John Cranko’s The Taming of the Shrew. The season 2002/2003 saw, among others, her début as Tatjana in Cranko’s Onegin, the following season 2003-04 her début as Princess Florine (The Sleeping Beauty).
Maria Eichwald was awarded the special prize for the most promising young dancer by the Free State of Bavaria in 1998, followed by the award Dancer of the Year by the popular Munich newspapaper tz in 1999. She was nominated for the Prix Benois in 2002 and danced subsequently at the Prix Benois Gala in Moskau’s Bolschoi Theatre in April 2002. With her partner Alen Bottaini she danced as a guest with the National Ballet of Kuba and they appeared at the Gala Les Etoiles du XXIe siècle in Paris in 2001. She also appeared with the Royal Danish Ballet as Manon in Kenneth MacMillan’s eponymous ballet.