How Assistant Professor Casey Avaunt spent her ‘Summer’

The Elon Dance Program congratulates faculty member Casey Avaunt for her recent achievement of “Summer” being accepted in the Boston Contemporary Dance Festival Virtual Showcase. Avaunt’s work was chosen out of 200 applicants from around the world to be presented in this prestigious festival.

Assistant Professor of Dance Casey Avaunt’s “Summer,” which debuted as the second scene in “Rites of Spring”, Elon’s spring 2020 dance concert directed by Chair of the Department of Performing Arts, Professor Lauren Kearns, was accepted for the Boston Contemporary Dance Festival Virtual Showcase. The work was chosen from among 200 applicants.

Avaunt’s inspiration for this piece came from the liberation of the 1969 Woodstock, combined with the modern-day crisis of the repercussions of climate change particularly in response to the Australian wildfires. “Summer” offers Avaunt a strain of contrast. She believes the season gives agitation with relaxation and softness with wild brilliance. These ideals were at the forefront of Avaunt’s creative mind through her journey with “Summer” as she expresses, “The utopian images of Woodstock, encapsulating notions activism and hope, combined with the terror of these fires—highlighting summer’s various manifestations.”

“Summer” choreographed by Dr. Casey Avaunt. PC: Tony Spielberg

As the arts world continues to stay safe and virtual, there is a different atmosphere surrounding the excitement of performative choreography. Avaunt feels that the virtual aspect of this type of show gives pros and cons, but ultimately makes movement more accessible to audience members around the globe.

“Summer” premiered in the Boston Contemporary Dance Festival Virtual Showcase on Aug. 15, and the unique style of Avaunt’s choreography paired with Elon BFA dance majors was taken in by many.

The Elon Dance Program is incredibly proud of Avaunt for extending the talents of Elon in a contained time.