Fresh Friday with Marie-Astrid Mence
13th October 2023
It’s Friday, which can only mean one thing! We’re welcoming another exciting practitioner for our Fresh Friday workshop, and today, it’s Marie-Astrid Mence.
Marie-Astrid Mence was a former student of the Higher National Conservatory of Music and Dance in Paris and a scholarship student at Alvin Ailey School. Marie-Astrid joined Ballet Black in 2014 up to 2020 where she performed numerous pieces from Mark Bruce, Will Tuckett, Martin Lawrence, Mthuthuzeli November, Sophie Laplane, Christopher Marney, Michael Corder, Cathy Marson, Arthur Pita, Christopher Hampson, Annabelle Lopez-Ochoa. She joined Phoenix Dance Company in 2015 for a year where she worked with Sharon Watson, Itsik Galili, Kate Flatt and Darshan Singh Buhller.
In 2016 she was promoted dancer of the month of February by the Magazine Dancing Times UK.
In 2018 Marie-Astrid featured in Disney’s series ‘Find Me in Paris’ Season 2 and 3 (2019) and OCS production series ‘L’Opera’ where she was a body double for the 2nd female role in 2020. At the end of that year 2020, Marie-Astrid performed, wrote and shared a story in the Nowness short film ‘The Truth of Being a black Ballerina’ by Rebecca Murray. In 2021 Marie-Astrid was featured in Moeasy, Jords, Masego, Cascade music videos and Alexandra Luxem and Red Cor short films.
In 2022, she featured in Ulu’s series ‘Spellbound’ where she was a body double for the 1st female role and also featured in ‘Queen Charlotte’ in the ball scene.
In the same year, she performed a 15-minute solo in ‘Oklahoma!’ as the lead dancer at the Young Vic then made her West End debut in 2023 at the Wyndhams Theatre.
Marie-Astrid describes that “I like to lead workshops with some breathing exercises and a few games led by movement improvisations as a collective. Participants will learn a portion of Oklahoma’s 15-minute solo that has been playing in the West End for 9 months at the Wyndhams Theatre. The solo has a contemporary minimalist style with the aim of making the movement speak for itself.”