This came to my mailbox today from the EDGEWORKS Dance Theater mailing list:

Are You Interested In Participating In An EDT Project On Gender, Sexuality, And Spirituality?

EDGEWORKS Dance Theater’s Founder & Artistic Director Helanius J. Wilkins recently launched the determining factor— a work focused on gender, sexuality and spirituality; and that will be the result of community collaboration.

The research and development of this work includes organizing intimate discussion groups reflecting a diverse cross section of the community. Men and women, heterosexual, homosexual, and transgendered, married and single, and of a wide age range, will participate in guided discussions focused on hopes, dreams, and viewpoints of how the issue of homosexuality has been and is addressed in America, and their personal experiences. As a result of partnerships with schools and faith communities, some of these discussion groups will take place in these locations.

If you are interested in participating, please call (202) 483-0606 or send an email to Helanius@hjwEdgeworks.org. Please include your name, email address, and a phone number where you can be reached. Write in the subject line: EDT Discussion Group.

All discussion groups will take place in between the months of October 2007 and January 2008.

*** These guided discussion sessions will be documented through audio and video. While in most cases the video will ONLY be used for archival purposes and as a reference for Helanius leading up to the completion of the work, excerpts may be incorporated into the final video component of the project.

I asked Helanius if he was having a hard time finding people, and he said that has not been a problem, but he’s trying to cast as wide a net as possible to get a good cross-section of the community.

In developing Cold Case, Helanius talked to a broad sampling of African American men about race and identity. His choreographic process is wonderfully inclusive and goes way beyond dance. I think that is why his work is so relevant and touching.

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