French ballet dancer Marie-Astrid is full of passion and poise. Born in Paris, she joined Ballet Black dance company in 2014 after studying at the Higher National Conservatory of Music and Dance in Paris. As a Senior Artist at Ballet Black, Maire-Astrid is making leaps and bounds within the dance industry having been named Dancer of the Month in the Dancing Times in 2017. Her infectious energy and sunny disposition make springing into May that much more fun.
What do you love most about your job?
My job as a professional dancer gives me a real sense of freedom and allows me to share and connect my inner world to the audience on stage, and now by the films we are making at Ballet Black. Dancing is my playground, I can be whoever I want, I feel empowered, confident and truly connected with my being. I find it very fascinating to share stories and express feelings without words, with only the body's abilities and weaknesses. Allowing people to stop and watch, digest and comprehend what's in front of them. I guess it's like a form of therapy for me and the audience, and an immense honour to make people dream and pause for a moment.
Where's your favourite hangout?
I love Hackney! When I pass by I always discover new places! I love going to Grow Hackney to eat or to listen to fine music. I love picking up ice cream by the canal when it's warm and taking a long walk just to enjoy the underground vibe of the neighbourhood, especially in Hackney Wick. Also the community of artists is immense there and much more connected than where I live at the moment. I would love to live there one day! I have the feeling it is the perfect place to renew my inspirations and feel more supported by independent artists like myself.
What's top of your playlist right now?
VICTORIA by SamPro & Fro. from the Noutéka Collective!
Long story short, my boyfriend created Noutéka in 2018 to gather artists willing to work collectively. The collective is composed of musicians, rappers, singers, beatmakers, graphic designers, photographers etc. depending on the project and events we work on.
The collective released its first album L I N E S in January 2021. This ambitious compilation brings together 15 artists from all over London. The project embodies the city of London, whose image is manifested through the lines of the underground and soundscapes from which our music is inspired. Each tube line has a track on the album.
All the tracks are unique but VICTORIA is the one I am vibing on at the moment. It has this Brixton feeling...
What's your most loved piece in your wardrobe?
So last year before the first Coronavirus lockdown, I travelled with my friends to Amsterdam. I never had the chance to visit this city before so I was super enthusiastic to finally have an opportunity to go. Anyway, I am a big fan of vintage shops in London and I was curious to discover theirs. I found this giant leather old school red and green jacket and loved the oversized look so I bought it without hesitation. I feel special and confident each time I wear it because I receive so many compliments from strangers! Definitely my best buy for a long time.
How many pairs of shoes do you own?
I own 26 pairs of shoes. There are sneakers, heels, boots and summer shoes but I’m only wearing 3 or 4 pairs at the moment to be honest, as the weather here is pretty much the same: grey, windy, and sometimes rainy so I can't wear all the shoes I have in my wardrobe which is a shame...However, I travel with my summer shoes in my suitcase when I go on holiday to hotter countries or to the island where I am from, La Martinique (in the Caribbean).
What do your Rogues say about you?
The Strike shoes are divided in two like me. Most people call me Marie because it's quick but my full name is Marie-Astrid. I like to say that Marie is tender and loving and Astrid is more strategic and powerful. So the beige and green pistachio is a perfect match for me as I think it reflects who I am very well. l love the duality of things and believe there is nothing more boring than something blank with no spice in it. I always try to enrich my dancing with exhibitions, documentaries that I’ve seen, or even sometimes associate a particular movement with different textures or tastes, making my dance richer and more fun to execute.