"With award-winning talent and relentless determination, Helanius Wilkins has devoted himself to using the lenses of black masculinity and cutting-edge choreography to rethink race, class, identity, human diversity and tragic turns of inhumanity…He has shown courage and creativity in (his) efforts to open up new worlds to all of us, provoke a richer dialogue and open our eyes to our own human potential.”
- Clarence E. Page, Pulitzer Prize Journalist, Chicago Tribune
The core of my work, ever since founding EDGEWORKS Dance Theater, an all-male contemporary dance company made up of predominately Black men, 20 years ago, has been to bring together communities and give voice and visibility to untold stories. I have witnessed how my work fosters dialogue, accesses difficult conversations, and creates moments that allow for honoring different aesthetic and cultural values. Through my current work, which took form following the disbanding of EDGEWORKS in 2014, I am embracing indeterminacy and foregrounding the experiences of Black men in my performances as a vehicle to contribute to today’s dance field by making space for approaches that have often been ignored or devalued. I am offering moments of connection and relationship building by investigating how dancing can be a means of re-framing our perspectives. I view my work as an ongoing process of asking how we negotiate personal and communal relationships. To do this work I echo my ethics in the structure of my projects by creating paid opportunities for dancers and artistic collaborators from a wide range of disciplines, including film, video, and design. My investment is deeply rooted in blurring the lines between artists and multi-generational audiences and communities through performances, workshops, classes, lecture/demonstrations, and events.
May I count on you? Your contribution will make a tremendous impact on making new work, supporting dancers and collaborators, and engaging with an eclectic cross-section of communities both regionally and nationally.
Always Dreaming & Actively Doing,
Helanius J Wilkins