Reviewed by on    Ottawa Fringe 2012, Theatre in Ottawa and the region  

 Rajka Stefanovska   A former Cirque Du Soleil performer and Celine Dion backup dancer, Sandrine Lafond takes a step towards unique theatre artistry with her show, Little Lady. This artist, gifted with a remarkable talent and daring nature puts together a show to be remembered. Combining the power of imagination, dance, and acting, she created an inventive and challenging performance which clearly belongs to experimental theatre.

Her vision of a little lady is that of a woman who is vain, curious about her image, and inquisitive about her immediate surroundings. As a character, she gradually grows with every new movement on stage. The play revolves around a daily routine of a bug-resembling human creature, which consists of simple things such as listening to the radio or knitting, but also exploring the world around her. In the style of popular fairy tales, there is a daily task for her: to choose from three stainless steel serving dishes, each larger than the next. If she makes a mistake by choosing the largest one, she is punished by an electrical shock. By the end of the third day she grows from a creature that can hardly walk to a person who can stand on her own.

Every movement in Lafond’s performance is there for a reason. Wide open eyes, wobbly legs, wagging tongue – each little move tells part of the story. She paces it beautifully, giving the audience just enough time to take in the segments. The story she presents is vibrant, funny, artistic, and unique – definitely one that should not be missed!  

 Alvina  Ruprecht . Little Lady,  is an amazing corporeal transformation by Sandrine Lafond who is a clown, an acrobat, a contortionist, an actor and a consummate performer. She takes us through a series of daily rituals which show how her body, little by little becomes erect, self-sustaining, and independent as it fills out and begins flowing in a most graceful way.  We feel we are watching the evolution of the human species: from part human part undefinable creature, her body turns into a beautiful human butterfly.

Unfortunately it was in the Arts Court Library where one cannot see the show beyond the third row. Consequently there was no one sitting beyond the fourth row which was too bad for the artist.
I think that if the Ottawa Fringe still wants to use the space they have to rearrange it to make it more “friendly” to the artists and to the public.

For example,   raise the acting space  about two  or three feet,  or else rearrange the seating in that long room. Have the performance on a long platform  located UNDER the windows  (all along that side wall) and have the seats placed in 2 or 3 rows moving from the top to the bottom  in front of the wall.  That would improve the site lines immensely. .

Little Lady Plays in the Arts Court Library.