The Conversation Series: Stitching the Geopolitical Quilt to Re-Body Belonging
Join award-winning choreographer and Lafayette native Helanius J. Wilkins for the premiere of The Conversation Series: Stitching the Geopolitical Quilt to Re-Body Belonging –a multi-dimensional evening-length dance production that confronts and celebrates heritage, resilience, justice, and hope.
Named among Westword’s Best of Denver 2022, this collaborative, immersive work, performed by two men with different racial and cultural backgrounds, preferences the value of bodies coexisting – sharing weight and responsibility, dancing to become better ancestors. Richly textured and interwoven, this work is inspired by a walking practice where Wilkins walked – up to 16 miles a day – to unlearn fear, interactions with diverse intergenerational communities across the United States, and a vision for creating a greater sense of belonging. This work is a dynamic intersection of contemporary dance, performance art, technology (video and interactive gaming), music, fashion, and design.
Performances will feature a section inspired by conversations with Lafayette residents during the summer of 2022 which included community programs and workshops with Acadiana Center for the Arts, Cité des Arts, Basin Arts, PARC Village, the McComb Veazey Community House, Move the Mindset, and Acadiana Queer Collective. Each performance will be followed by a Q & A with the artist moderated by Clare Cook, Lafayette native and founder of Basin Arts.
For more information about the work, visit https://www.helaniusj.com/the-conversation-series
***Special Guest Performer: Erica Fox, Lafayette native, singer-songwriter
The Conversation Series: Stitching the Geopolitical Quilt to Re-Body Belonging is a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation & Development Fund Project co-commissioned by Redline Contemporary Art Center in partnership with CSPS Legion Arts, Dance Place, The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center and NPN/VAN. The Creation & Development Fund is supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency). For more information, visit www.npnweb.org.
The Conversation Series: Stitching the Geopolitical Quilt to Re-Body Belonging and this touring engagement is made possible through a Grant for Arts Projects from the National Endowment for the Arts. Funding for this work and performance engagement is made possible in part through awards from the University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder) including the Center for Humanities & the Arts (CHA) Small Grant award and a $50,000 FY2022 Research & Innovation Seed Grant.
Helanius J. Wilkins, a native of Lafayette, Louisiana, is an award-winning choreographer, performance artist, innovator, and educator. He lived in Washington, D.C. for eighteen (18) years and founded EDGEWORKS Dance Theater, an all-male dance company of predominantly African American men that existed for thirteen (13) years (2001 – 2014).
To date, he has choreographed and directed more than 60 works, which includes two critically-acclaimed musical productions for Washington, DC’s Studio Theater – “Passing Strange” (2010) and “POP!” (2011).
Foundations and organizations including New England Foundation for the Arts (National Dance Project), National Performance Network (NPN), the Boulder Office of Arts & Culture Public Arts Program, D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and the National Endowment for the Arts have supported his work.
IN THE MEDIA:
• Westword Best of Denver 2022: https://www.westword.com/best-of/2022/arts-and-entertainment/best-dance-project-13805592
• NPN (National Performance Network) Blog: https://npnweb.org/helanius-j-wilkins-a-lesson-for-living-during-a-pandemic/
• Arts In Society (AIS) Grantee Highlight: https://www.redlineart.org/along-the-line//ais-grantee-highlight-choreographer-helanius-j-wilkins
• Voyage Denver: http://voyagedenver.com/interview/conversations-with-helanius-j-wilkins/
• The Sopris Sun: https://www.soprissun.com/tag/the-conversation-series-stitching-the-geopolitical-quilt-to-re-body-belonging/
• ShoutOut Colorado: https://shoutoutcolorado.com/meet-helanius-j-wilkins-choreographer-performance-artist-educator-activist/
• DC DanceWatcher: https://dcdancewatcher.wordpress.com/2017/12/25/dancing-while-a-black-man/