Raising the Bar in Disability Arts


  • Menka Nagrani




This article discusses my pedagogical approach towards teaching dance, movement, and theatre to artists with cognitive disabilities. I have developed a training method for artists participating in my classes and productions that invites individual creative exploration and professional rigour. My inclusive dance-theatre company, Les Productions des pieds des mains, creates productions that are presented on professional artistic platforms and not limited to the context of disabled art presentations. Our productions are regularly subject to the same selection criteria as would be a non-inclusive company. With this in mind, I aim for excellence. I work towards creating high quality shows while helping artists with a disability push past their perceived limits and surpass themselves. In this article I will share my findings and strategies, perfected throughout my many years of experimentation, explaining  how to reach a high-level of quality in inclusive productions, as well as how I help artists with a disability reach a level of quality in their performances which allows them to find gainful employment within the artistic domain. 

Author Biography

Menka Nagrani

Menka Nagrani is an interdisciplinary artist, theatre director, and choreographer. She founded Les Productions des pieds des mains in 2004, an inclusive dance and theatre company. She has since created several socially engaged dance and theatre productions and short films that have been acclaimed worldwide. Menka Nagrani has received many awards for her work, including a Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec award for her artistic achievements in 2012 and was recently appointed Member of the Order of Canada. A leader in forming and including disabled artists in professional work, Menka is often invited to present at conferences and lead workshops in Canada and in Europe.



How to Cite

Nagrani, M. (2021). Raising the Bar in Disability Arts. Canadian Journal of Disability Studies, 10(2), 269–282. https://doi.org/10.15353/cjds.v10i2.802