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.
WHEN: Sunday, September 23, 2018, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
WHERE: Boulder Civic Area, 11th St/Canyon Blvd and Bandshell
The event begins after the conclusion of Wilkins’s final performance of “A Bon Coeur” during CU [UN]W.R.A.P. Symposium, Sept. 20-23 (details below)


Taking place only on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018, this event will feature multi-generational local and national artists and community members in a series of visual, performance, and culinary art experiences in the Boulder Downtown Civic Area and Central Park. The Civic Area will be divided into two experiences:

  • At the Bandshell, a Colorado favorite and nationally-recognized zydeco band, Jo Jo Reed and the Happy Hill Zydeco Band from Eunice, LA
  • On the west side of Broadway, near the new 11th St. Bridge – A 10-piece brass band composed of some of the greater Boulder/Denver area’s leading musicians lead by CU alum Decker Babcock

Join us for a dance-park party like now other!

Additional support of this project is made possible through the CU Boulder Office for Outreach and Engagement, Laissez les bon temps will invite us to reconnect to the importance of embracing, honoring, and celebrating difference.

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.


More about [UN]W.R.A.P.:

[UN]W.R.A.P. Traversing Memory: Performing Resistance & Resilience
laissez les bons temps rouler is an extension of, and will be the culminating event for – [UN]W.R.A.P. Traversing Memory: Performing Resistance & Resilience – a week-long symposium as part of CU Boulder’s Department of Theatre & Dance 2018/19 season, featuring lectures, panel discussions, and movement workshops with a culminating performance. Dance becomes a vehicle for revisiting embodied practices that give us ways of knowing ourselves and our communities as well as understanding complex issues around race, culture, and inclusivity.

HJW_”A Bon Coeur” Trailer #1 from Helanius Wilkins on Vimeo.