As in many of her earlier works, such as Braise Blanche (1990), Vierge Noire (1993), Cartes postales de Chimère (1996) et Elles (2002), La femme ovale presents a choreographic portrait of a woman that gives expression to Louise Bédard’s social and personal concerns.

Photo : Janick Houle

Photo : Janick Houle

One day, while Louise Bédard was out wandering, she came by chance across a doll with an ageless face and a body hidden under a billowing dress. Intrigued and affected by this woman-figure, Louise Bédard threw herself into the creation of La femme ovale in April 2001. The ensuing work, performed by the choreographer, transports us to a vigorous, lavish world in which the serious encounters the unrestrained. Louise Bédard brings to life a character of disconcerting beauty that is both tragic and jubilant. This enigmatic woman-girl-child reveals a radiant essence in a space—inspired by the natural elements of water, air, earth and fire—that is like a multifaceted prism. She is a character of restless disposition, ever alert to her senses, whose body speaks an edgy language: a volcano on the verge of erupting.

Louise Bédard created the work by juxtaposing a square, the geometrical paradigm in which she evolved, on a circle, the shape that is found on her costume. Her bearing and her step are amplified by the many layers concealing her. Over the course of a journey that marks the stages of her dramatic evolution, la femme ovale gradually sheds these in an act of renunciation that is a true metaphor for a rite of passage, one that will liberate her and allow her, at last, to achieve the purest form of abandonment.

Behind every solo I dance, hides a woman I’ve never met. Only by dancing does a portrait gently emerge followed by another and yet another, giving rise to a multitude of faces. The creation of this solo is the direct result of my need to give life to these voices whispering in my ear. I dance to revive my memory and keep theirs alive Though movement, I seek to convey the essence of this singular woman.This solo has been within me for a long time. It links two parts of me, one belonging to the past, another to the future. Though movement, I seek to convey the essence of this singular woman.
Louise Bédard


The first preview public presentations were given at the Taller de la Bicicleta in Tlaxcala and at Mexico City’s Centro cultural Helénico in November 2001. The world premiere of this piece took place at Toronto’s Dancemakers Studio, on February 13, 2003. A few months later, the final version, integrating original music by Jean Derome, was performed from May 9 to 17, 2003, at l’Agora de la danse, in Montreal.


Year of creation : 2003
Running : 56 minutes

Choreography and performance : Louise Bédard
Rehearsal and artistic advice : Ginelle Chagnon
Set up and lighting : Axel Morgenthaler
Costumes and make up : Angelo Barsetti
Original music : Jean Derome
Graphic design : Folio et Garetti
Photo credits (promotion) : Angelo Barsetti
Photo credits (show) : Janick Houle



In La femme ovale (…) Bédard was everything we have come to expert from this consummate artist : compelling, provocative and daring.
Paula Citron, The globe and mail, Toronto - February 2003

La femme ovale is a descent into the inner abyss of a woman until she emerges back out of herself, transfigured. The piece is so specifically Louise Bédard, she carries it with such conviction and mastery (…) Louise Bédard possesses the art of creating worlds where nothing expected or logical happens. Lire +
Frédérique Doyon, Le Devoir, Montréal - May 2003

One can only admire Louise Bédard as she performs her most recent creation, La femme ovale. She amazes us with her performance. For an hour, alone on stage, she is continually in motion. Both her endurance and the quality of her movements are a pleasure to behold. Lire +
François Dufort, Dfdanse, Montréal - May 2003