The most important element for traditional Bulgarian musical art (songs, instrumental melodies and dances) is rhythm. It is the junction between text, melody and dance steps – rhythm is what unites Poetry, Music and Dance. Rhythm is considered by Bulgarians as the male principle of music. It is a powerful intermediary between the performer and the outside World, the Cosmos and Nature. The intonation (the tonal sequence of the melody), for its part, represents the feminine principle of the music and reports on the inner state of the performer. Rhythm and Intonation are the two supreme elements of the melody. This in turn, will determine what type of dance will be used in parallel.

Milena Jeliazkova, traditional Bulgarian professional singer, teacher and vocal coach, and Maya Mihneva, traditional Bulgarian dancer teaching at the Conservatory of the “Alpes de Haute-Provence”, have conducted for more than 15 years several separate Bulgarian singing and dancing courses in France and abroad for. Their friendship and love for Bulgarian folk music and popular dances have inspired them to create this master-class within IIWM of Aubagne in order to combine their talents and put them at the service of those wishing to initiate or to improve themselves in these arts, unique in the world. They will cover all the concepts outlined above during this original master-class. The work will be conducted both towards the voice and the body, and above all, to the interaction between voice, breath, body. The concepts of posture of interiority and exteriority, of presence to oneself and to the world will be discussed.


  • Body heating: Harmonization of voices, preparation of the body to find resonances, breath management, relaxation and availability, verticality and horizontality, anchoring to the ground, inner listening, concentration, energy.
  • Exploration of timbre: Placement of the voice (specificities according to heights), sound management, work on vowels, articulation, spoken and sung voice.
  • Polyphonic approach: Work on intervals (seconds, third, fifths) and chords, management of «discomfort».
  • Work on odd rhythms: breath management and specificities.


  • Body preparation: breath management, relaxation and availability, verticality and horizontality, anchoring to the ground, inner listening, concentration, energy.
  • Work on the axis, the supports, the suspension, on the specifics of each dance approached.
  • Learning the dances by impregnation and observation: approach to style – group dances, circle dances, chain dances, improvisation dances – in even and odd rhythm.


Interpretation: work on vocal and danced expression combining technicality and artistic identity, immediacy of perceptions, relationship to oneself and to others, exploration of sensations and imagination in order to serve the interpretation.


The master-class is open to beginners and experienced singers and dancers, good ear and correct singing are nevertheless essential.