Maria Ilieva (Masha)
Maria Ilieva /Masha/ was born in Sofia, Bulgaria. She started ballet dancing at the age of 8. At the age 10, after a competition, she was admitted to the State Choreography School - Sofia, Bulgaria in the class of the prima ballerina Tzveta Jumalieva. On the following year Masha, being an exclusively gifted child, was sent to continue her ballet education at the world-famous Russian Academy
“Vaganova” in Saint Petersburg /then Leningrad/, USSR. In the course of seven years her teachers were M. Boyarchikova, L. Belskaya, I. Trofimova and the famous Russian ballerina and pedagogue Feya Balabina.
After finishing the school, she was admitted to the corps-de-ballet of Sofia
National Opera, Bulgartia. From the very first season she was entrusted a solo part in the ballet “Don Quixote”. During the following years she performs solos in all the ballets of the Opera’s repertoire.
She is a winner at competitions in Dobrich - National Meeting of the young talents, and Varna ’86 - international ballet competition. Then follows the first main part - Clara of “The Nutcracker” ballet, where she was chosen personally by Yuriy Grigorovich for the premiere performance.
Since 1990 Maria Ilieva was appointed as prima ballerina. She was appraised by the audience and the critique as a ballerina with immaculate technique and a strong artistic presence.
Along with her stage activity, Maria Ilieva makes successful contributions as a ballet pedagogue as well. Her pupils win prestigious awards in Luxembourg, Varna, Dobrich.
In 1996 she established her own ballet school “Maria Ilieva”.
Since 2000 she is M.A. in ballet staging and teaching. She reads lectures in the State Music Academy – Sofia, Bulgaria.
In June 2001 she was appointed as Art Director of the National Ballet - Sofia.
Maria Ilieva established in 2000 the dance company The Young Ballet of Bulgaria in order to create conditions for the young learners in the field of the ballet art for developing their own country. Up to now several
programmes have been presented with classical and modern ballet in different towns of Bulgaria.
In 2002 the book: The Wonderful World of Dance, or How to Reach the Magic was published by the PAN publishing house. It is the only book of this kind in Bulgaria, because it presents the ballet from a diversity of points of view. From it you can learn interesting things about the history of ballet, ballet costumes and shoes, as well as some exercises for beginners. The book is addressed to the children’s audience, but it is also read with interest by adults.