***Photography by Angelisa Gillyard.
Helanius J. Wilkins, a native of Lafayette, Louisiana, is an award winning choreographer, performance artist, scholar, and instructor. 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 - 2013). His honors include the 2008 Pola Nirenska Award for Contemporary Achievement in Dance, and the 2002 and 2006 Kennedy Center Local Dance Commissioning Project Award. He was a three times finalist for the D.C. Mayor’s Arts Awards and Bates Dance Festival, a premiere dance festival in the U.S., named him their 2002 Emerging Choreographer. Foundations and organizations including New England Foundation for the Arts (National Dance Project), National Performance Network (NPN), D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and the National Endowment for the Arts have supported his work. In addition to performing, he enjoys 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). He is based in Boulder, CO where he is an Assistant Professor of Dance at the University of Colorado – Boulder.