THE CONVERSATION SERIES:
STITCHING THE GEOPOLITICAL QUILT TO RE-BODY BELONGING
2021 - PRESENT
Evening-Length Stage Production, 1st Iteration Premiere: Friday, March 4, 2022
Rejecting finite points/products, The Conversation Series: Stitching the Geopolitical Quilt to Re-body Belonging is a dance-based geopolitical “quilt”, stitching together uncertain relentless trajectories to disrupt the erasure of silenced stories. An inter- and multimedia, multi-year project that will result in four media outcomes, it will make tools/toys/ relationships to build paths in a non-colonizing fashion towards justice and equitable landscapes.
A male duet Wilkins is developing and performing with Avery Ryder Turner, this work preferences the value of bodies coexisting - sharing weight and responsibility, dancing to become better ancestors. As we travel to make and share this work, we 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, resiliency, justice, and hope. The multi-year project 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.
Concept & Direction Helanius J. Wilkins
Choreography Helanius J. Wilkins (Movement vocabulary created in collaboration with Avery Ryder Turner)
Original Sound Score Composition, Arrangement, & Performance Andy Hasenpflug
Screendance Cinematography/Original Sound Score Composition & Performance Watcheye Studios l Carlos D. Flores
Documentary Cinematography Thom Stromer
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)
Additional Collaborators to be announced.
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.
Funding for this project is made possible in part through a Center for Humanities & the Arts (CHA) Small Grant award from the University of Colorado Boulder, as well as in part through an FY 2022 Research & Innovation Seed Grant from the University of Colorado Boulder.
Helanius J. Wilkins is a Boulder County Arts Alliance (BCAA) 2021 Boulder County Arts Recovery grant recipient. Support was made available to address continued sustainability needs during COVID-19 and in support of The Conversation Series: Stitching the Geopolitical Quilt to Re-Body Belonging.
Helanius J. Wilkins is a 2021 NDP Finalist Grant Award recipient. Support was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts with funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to address continued sustainability needs during COVID-19 and in support of The Conversation Series: Stitching the Geopolitical Quilt to Re-Body Belonging.
This project is made possible in part by the Croft Residency, an organization that hosted a fall 2021 RADicle creative development residency in Michigan. RADicle residency, the name of the program, is the result of a partnership between the Croft Residency and RAD Fest.
This project is made possible in part by The Robert and Judi Newman Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Denver, an organization that hosted a summer 2021 creative development residency.
This project is made possible through the generous support of contributions made by individual donors.