Photo of Helanius Wilkins
Assistant Professor
Theater and Dance

MFA in Dance, George Washington University; BS in Dance, SUNY Brockport; Studied Film & Video Production, Rochester Institute of Technology; Assistant Professor, new CU faculty member 2016

Wilkins founded and artistically directed EDGEWORKS Dance Theater, Washington, DC’s first all-male contemporary dance company of predominately African-American men, that existed for thirteen (13) years (2001 – 2014). 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). In addition to performing the works of nationally recognized choreographers including Robert Moses, Earl Mosley, Joy Kellman, and Kevin Wynn, he performed with Maida Withers’ Dance Construction Company (DC), and as a guest with the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange (MD).  

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 Millennium Stage Kennedy Center Local Dance Commissioning Project Award; and multiple Metro DC Dance Awards. In addition, he was a three times finalist for the D.C. Mayor’s Arts Awards, and Bates Dance Festival, one of the premiere festivals in the United States, named him their 2002 Emerging Choreographer.

His choreography has been presented and performed at venues such as the Allen Theatre in historic Playhouse Square (Cleveland, OH), The Painted Bride Arts Center (Philadelphia, PA), Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival as part of Inside Out (Lee, MA), Thelma Hill Center for the Performing Arts (Brooklyn, NY), Dance Place (Washington, DC), The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington, DC), Links Hall (Chicago, IL), and The Dance Factory (Johannesburg, South Africa).

A trilogy in the making, his latest evening-length solo project titled “A Bon Coeur” is a progression of his critically-acclaimed, award-winning 2012 “/CLOSE/R”, moving from the self and expanding towards place and cultural identity. “A Bon Coeur” will premiere in 2018. Central to his current research and art-making practices is how senses guide knowledge based production.