A Weekend with Award-Winning Choreographer, Helanius J. Wilkins

Sponsored by Dance Initiative, Carbondale Arts and the CU Office for Outreach and Engagement.

As part of a series of lectures by CU Professors, Dance Initiative has teamed up with Carbondale Arts and The CU Office for Outreach and Engagment to bring Helanius J. Wilkins to Carbondale. Helanius will give a presentation about his work on Saturday night and teach an all-levels dance workshop on Sunday morning. All events take place at The Launchpad in Carbondale.

Saturday, May 18th, 6:30-8pm, Free
Doing Wholeheartedly: A Talk with Choreographer Helanius J. Wilkins

Award-winning choreographer Helanius J. Wilkins will discuss his creative research and projects that are rooted in the interconnections of American contemporary performance, cultural history, and identities of Black men. Through storytelling, video sharings, and live performance, Wilkins will offer an intimate look into a history of performing resistance and resilience, and building brave and courageous communities through the art of dance.

Sunday, May 19th, 10-11:45am, $10
Framework: A Contemporary Technique Practice

Framework, an evolving practice developed by Helanius J. Wilkins, is a rigorous practice that transforms technique class into a laboratory for examining, exploring, and discovering bodily movements in real time. Informed by architectural concepts, the joy of daring dance is experienced through the activity of framing and re-framing structures where individual and collective discoveries can be made. Structures, cued by action narratives that serve as a guide for participants, meld notions of space together with ways of communicating through the body. Framework, as a movement technique, is a viscerally charged ongoing practice, resembling a ritual that employs recovery through activity. Specific design, time, and effort modules are built resulting in choreographic phrases and expressions. By assembling structures for students to inhabit, the ultimate goal of Framework is to question communication, refine technical ability and artistry, and interrogate one’s interior material. When fully committed to the rigors of the work, sensory engagement can be triggered bringing these architectural spaces to life.

Helanius J. Wilkins, a Louisiana native, is an award-winning choreographer, performance artist, and scholar. He is an Assistant Professor of Dance at the University of Colorado Boulder. His creative research and projects are rooted in the interconnections of American contemporary performance, cultural history, and identities of Black men. He lived in Washington, D.C. for 18 years where he founded EDGEWORKS Dance Theater, an all-male dance company of predominantly African-American men that existed for 13 years. His honors include the 2008 Pola Nirenska Award for Contemporary Achievement in Dance, DC’s highest honor given by the Washington Performing Arts Society; the 2002 and 2006 Kennedy Center Local Dance Commissioning Project Award; and three Metro DC Dance Awards. A three times finalist for the D.C. Mayor’s Arts Awards, he enjoys performing, creating, presenting, and receiving commissions for choreography throughout the U.S. and abroad. To date, he has choreographed and directed over 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 (NDP), National Performance Network (NPN), D.C. Commission on the Arts & Humanities, and the NEA have supported his work.