Creative and teaching team

Jan  Jan Derbyshire, artistic director

Jan Derbyshire is an established multi-disciplinary designer and theatre artist, producer, inclusive educator and innovator. She specializes in the design of playful and participatory experiences in theatre, movement, new media and events that push forward ideas of diversity, belonging, civic engagement, perception change and practical applications of theory. She has recently co-created community engaged projects with The Conference Board of America, New World Theatre, The Vancouver International Children’s Festival, The Republic of Inclusion, NAC, Ottawa, The University of Guelph revisiting Disability Project, All in, Frank Theatre and Young People’s Theatre, Toronto.Jan is an award winning Canadian Playwright with works produced across the country and is the co-founder of POD, a citizen designer lab. She holds a Masters in Inclusive Design from OCAD University in Toronto.

Chris_landscape Chris Tuplin

Christopher is a born and raised Calgarian with a BFA from the University of Calgary’s Theatre Department and a minor in Disability Studies. He is aspiring towards his Master’s in Occupational Therapy, hoping to delve into the wondrous power of creative exploration and is excited to be welcomed into the warm embrace of MoMo Dance Theatre.

momo-slide02 Emily Hutcheon

Emily has been a member of MoMo Mixed Ability Dance Theatre for three years as part of the performance ensemble. In her artistic practice, Emily has engaged in theatre, including collaboration with mixed­ ability theatre companies, has practiced clowning, and has learned a variety of dance styles including hip­ hop and interpretive dance. Emily has performed in three of MoMo’s annual productions. She has participated in collaborative themed projects, such as MoMo’s partnership with InsideOut Theatre, to produce a full­ length piece about disability and sexuality, Fully Functional, as well as in MoMo’s community engagement projects. Emily is an apprentice teacher with MoMo.

ensemble-jbenoit Jade Benoit

Jade Benoit has been dancing with MoMo since 2008 and became a teacher apprentice in 2009. She travelled to Montevideo, Uruguay in 2010 and received training in Danceability. In 2012, she took a leave from MoMo to attend Mount Royal University’s Theatre Performance program. She has been teaching community classes with Momo ever since, and has choreographed two pieces for the performance ensemble. She has performed with MoMo in numerous events in Calgary including Pro arts at noon, IDPD, speak out, and the Fluid Festival.

She is a Calgary based actor and improvisor who also has training in Pochinko Clown.

Judith Mendelsohn
Oriana Pagnotta Photo Oriana Pagnotta

Oriana Pagnotta is a Calgary-based contemporary dance artist. Her movement practice includes a strong interest in somatic work, theatre, and feminism. Her choreographic credits include the SURGE Co (W&M Dance Projects), Annual Alberta Dance Festival (DSW), Girls Gone Wilde Cabaret (Urban Curvz), and Dance Montage (University of Calgary). She teaches with the SURGE Co. and has been rehearsal director with such international artists as Milan Kozanek and Iris Heitzinger, and with Momo Mixed Ability Dance Theatre.

Pagnotta holds a B.A. with Distinction in Dance from the University of Calgary. She is currently Artistic Director of Dance Montage, Artistic Associate with the SURGE Co, and Dance Curator with the Ignite! Festival.

momoCalgary-6659 Yahaira Henriquez


Other Artists We Work With:

artist-val Valerie Campbell
Valerie is a performing artist and teacher working in actor training and performance creation with a specialization in movement. She is ever grateful for her dream job as a faculty member in the Department of Drama at the University of Calgary. Valerie is grateful to MoMo for the opportunity to work with this inspiring performance community.
artist-Nicole Nicole Mion
Artist and Curator, Nicole is a sought after director and contemporary choreographer specializing in contemporary performance, new media, dance, and installation. For MoMo she has choreographed Tuba Man and the 3 solos in Crossing The Line. She is Artistic Director for Sprinbgoard and Co-Artistic Director for Road Pictures. For Springboard, Nicole curates Interrarium – a multi-disciplinary creative residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts and the Fluid Movement Arts Festival in Calgary. Nicole won the Paula Citron award for most outstanding choreography at fFIDA Toronto.
artist-Kyrsten Kyrsten Blair
Kyrsten is a dancer, choreographer, and educator. Her choreography has been seen at Dancers’ Studio West, Calgary Opera, Corps Bara Dance Theatre and others. She has also performed with the One Yellow Rabbit Ensemble, and was rehearsal mistress for Decidedly Jazz Danceworks’ Bulla! She draws inspiration from a wide range of sources, including intensive study of Javanese Court Dance in Indonesia, aerial dance in the United States, Cuban folkloric in Old Havana, and a BFA in Drama from the University of Calgary. Kyrsten is also the Director of Be Love Yoga Studio, the Dance Specialist at the Calgary Girls’ School, and a sessional instructor in the Faculties of Fine Arts and Kinesiology at the University of Calgary.

Naomi Brand
Veronica Benz
Wolfgang Stange & Colm Gallagher from Amici Dance Theatre in London, England
Karen Anderson & Neil Price from Indepen-dance in Glasgow, Scotland
Alito Alessi of DanceAbility International