About Us


Momo’s Mission

Momo Performance + disability is shaping how disability is felt, perceived, understood, experienced, hailed and resounded through performance. By working individually with each performer, Momo is innovating one size fits one training and developing unique ensemble creation methods that are highly collaborative and participatory with the aim of discovering and presenting new disability arts aesthetics in movement performance.

What We Do

Momo offers a variety of programs through adult and youth classes and workshops, and performance work. The performance ensemble develops dance and movement performance through collaboration, performing in a variety of contexts and expanding disability arts aesthetic in Calgary. Momo embraces:

    • Person-led training and creation
    • Innovation in highly collaborative and participatory practices
    • Pursuing opportunities for activism and leadership in the arts and in the community.
    • Exploring the confluence of art, technology, and accessibility as aesthetic by creating work in conjunction with engineers and designers
    • Becoming a model of “open source” sharing insights to continue to be a leader in advancing disability arts

Momo History

MoMo Mixed Ability Dance Theatre has always been about integration; the integration of people with disabilities and those without, dancing together, creating together, performing together and modelling what a diverse society looks like. Under the directorship of Founding Artistic Director, Pamela Boyd, Momo worked to facilitate artistic expression by creating integrated performance. This was pioneering work since Momo’s founding in 2003.

Bold experiments continued with Momo’s next Artistic Director, Mark Ikeda. For example, he developed a collaborative project, Fully Functional, in 2014 with Inside Out Theatre, a co-production veering toward creating greater agency for ensemble members about their personal stories with disability and sexuality. Momo has continued to foster relationships with local Calgary communities and with organizations across the country including Lethbridge, Edmonton, Ottawa, and Vancouver.

There is a clear opportunity to be a leader in taking disability arts to new places, and since Jan Derbyshire took the helm in 2016, Momo has embraced this new direction.

Towards Momo Performance + Disability

Our name change to Momo Performance + disability reflects the evolving artistic practice of the company. The new direction was sparked through the evolution of the company. Momo is moving towards methods of highly collaborative and participatory practices. Our new philosophy creates brave space and leverages the expertise of choreographers and directors towards the discovery and presentation of a new disability arts aesthetic in movement performance.

“We have been working hard to innovate one size fits one training and creation methods that put artists with disabilities at the centre. With our community ensemble and in our community classes, we’ve been developing methods that that are highly collaborative and participatory with the aim of finding new expression that comes from the lived experience of disability that are as unique as each artist we work with. We are incubating our own methods.” – Jan Derbyshire, Artistic Director