Helanius Wilkins

laissez les bon temps rouler (Louisiana-inspired art experience)

Join Louisiana native, CU Boulder faculty member and award-winning choreographer Helanius J. Wilkins in a project transforming Boulder’s downtown Civic Area into a Louisiana-inspired community dance and public art event.

Sunday, September 23, 2018
Parade begins at 3:30 pm, event continues in Civic Area (1236 Canyon Blvd) until 6:30pm
Parade travels from College and 13th, down 11th St. to downtown Boulder


This project will feature multi-generational local and national artists and community members in a series of visual, performance, and culinary art experiences that will begin with a parade traveling from CU Boulder’s campus to Boulder’s downtown Civic Area and Central Park. In the spirit of a Mardi Gras parade and New Orleans’ Second Line, the procession from campus to downtown will create a visible human bridge linking together members of the CU Boulder campus community, citizens of all ages from the City of Boulder and surrounding areas, with local and national artists.

Contributing artists include:

Jo Jo Reed and the Happy Hill Zydeco Band
performing at the Glen Huntington Bandshell

Decker Babcock + 10-piece brass band
performing near the new 11th Street Bridge


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 years, where he founded EDGEWORKS Dance Theater, an all-male dance company of predominantly African-Americans. His honors include the 2008 Pola Nirenska Award for contemporary achievement in dance and the 2002 & 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.