devynn emory: deadbird – Danspace Project
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devynn emory: deadbird

devynn emory, jules skloot, and angie pittman raise their hands over a zipped up body bag on a silver medical table.
Photo: Simon Courchel

For the health and safety of our community, this performance has been cancelled. We will offer full refunds to audiences and seek to reschedule suspended performances and events when reasonably possible. We will be in touch with all ticket buyers directly regarding refunds.

Thursday, April 23, 8pm
Friday, April 24, 8pm
Saturday, April 25, 8pm

devynn emory’s deadbird is part one of #mymannykin friends, a 3-year mixed media performance trilogy holding the complexities of death and dying. A mannequin plays multiple characters, telling stories of near death experiences, pre-death visualizations, and transitions into the afterworld. emory bases these stories in their own threshold-walking, deep research and personal experience as a critical care hospice nurse, a healer, a transgender person bearing witness to high rates of suicidality in the community, and their daily navigation through the world as a mixed-race indigenous person.

The mannequin plays the role of a 50-year-old southern atheist writer, a 95-year-old former teacher who had an illegal abortion in her teens, and an angsty queer youth questioning their gender and existence. Dancers, a musician, and a stage manager shape-shift from television production crew to guardians of an ailing body, eventually welcoming the audience into a participatory ceremonial death ritual.

Writes emory, “This work holds stories of near death experiences as a way to engage audience in conversation about illness and the dying process before a moment of crisis, and to weave in my daily connections with other planes of existence in the spirit world.”

deadbird is created and performed by: devynn emory in collaboration with performers stevie mayAngie PittmanJules Skloot and Reilly Horan
Text: devynn emory
Mannequin voices: Julia Bennett, devynn emory, Neil Greenberg, Calvin Stalvig
Mannequin voices recorded and produced by: Michael Ryterband
Sound editing and composition: HPrizm
Production/Stage Management: Reilly Horan


Accessibility Danspace Project’s main entrance is fully wheelchair accessible via ramp. A same-level restroom is available near Danspace Project’s main performance space in the church sanctuary.

devynn emory is a choreographer and dance artist living in NYC. emory’s company devynnemory/beastproductions sources from multiple in-between states of being both in their body as a mixed-race indigenous and transgender person, and within the liminality of their work as a healer and hospice Nurse. emory was institutionally trained in rigorous classical lineages of line and exactitude through a predominantly white aesthetic lens, legitimizing many traditions of subjugation within their own body. They have thus committed to formalism as a tool for structural reclamation, investigation and decolonization of pattern making. In doing so they use formalism as an organizing system and ideology to observe and hold space for queer and other’d bodies. As such, pattern making then becomes a survival skill to locate self and other in conversation with historic and contemporary systems. Elaborate mathematical and mapped scores are designed to support bodies bleeding human truths, opening peep holes and revelations for collective performers and audiences. As a dancer they’ve most recently worked with a canary torsi, Tere O’Connor, Roseanne Spradlin, Gerard & Kelly and Kim Brandt.

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