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how can we get the world that we deserve? one that can work for everyone?
how can we hold ourselves and each other accountable to create a better sense for belonging?
how does our relationship to time and the exploration of it allow us to reconsider or navigate working across difference?

about the work

This work is a dance-based geopolitical “quilt”, stitching together uncertain relentless trajectories by centering belonging to disrupt the erasure of silenced stories.

An inter- and multimedia, multi-year work that activates technologies of the body, tools, and toys to build paths in a non-colonizing fashion towards justice and equitable landscapes.

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. As Wilkins travel to make and share this work, he will stitch together a dance-quilt to broaden our understandings of what it means to be American and sew ourselves together anew.

The Conversation Series: Stitching the Geopolitical Quilt to Re-Body Belonging is an ongoing and always shifting dance-quilt, confronting and celebrating heritage, resilience, justice, and hope. The multi-year work will require Wilkins travel to all 50 U.S. states/D.C./5 inhabited territories and realize four specific media outcomes:


  • Choreographic works will be developed that connect dance-quilt patches created in and with intergenerational community members in a non-colonizing fashion. When sewn together these quilts will present as informal community rituals in site-specific, public spaces and formal performances.

  • A digital humanities living archive will be developed exposing multi-sensory experiences of belonging that course corrects American history.

  • A documentary film that examines a perspective of a nation’s soul through the performer’s perseverance and resilience in working together toward a different future will be developed.

  • Finally, Wilkins will create a toykit (a toolkit implies a need to fix, a toykit represents an invitation to co-create and participate in a process of uniting and healing) for community-based embodied diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice work. This toykit can be used by other artists across the country to continue the process of manifesting a more socially just America at the heart of The Conversation Series: Stitching the Geopolitical Quilt to Re-Body Belonging.

What does it mean to be american and sew ourselves together anew?
Choreographic Rituals: FREE, site-based presentations that are part dance, performance art, and mediation.

Conversation Series Events

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LOOKING FOR: Presenting Partners, Funders, Touring Opportunities


Dr. James Fraizer (Dean & Professor of Dance, College of Fine Arts School of Dance, Florida State University, FL)
Dr. Kate Mattingly (Lead Advisor) (Assistant Professor of Dance, Old Dominion University, VA)
Paloma McGregor (Founder Dancing While Black and Co-Founder Angela’s Pulse, NYC)
Ysatiz  Piñero (Director for Education & Social Change for CU Boulder's Center for Inclusion and Social Change in the Office of Diversity, Equity & Community Engagement, CO)
Amy Smith (Economic Justice Consultant, PA)
Dr. Marissa Volpe (Chief of Equity & Engagement, History Colorado, CO)


Concept & Direction Helanius J. Wilkins 

Choreography Helanius J. Wilkins (Movement vocabulary created in collaboration with A. Ryder Turner)

Original Sound Score Composition, Arrangement, & Performance Andy Hasenpflug 

Screendance Cinematography/Original Sound Score Composition & Performance Watcheye Studios l Carlos D. Flores 

Dramaturgy elle hong 

Technical Direction, Lighting Design & Set Design Iain Court 

Technical Direction, Video Content Creation & Editing for Stage Production Roma Flowers

Technology Design & Programming  (interactive technology) Peter Gyory

Costume Design Jasmine Lewis (Jasmine Lewis Design)