Soul Rep Theatre calls The Freedmans a "ritualistic choreo-poem." Written 20 years ago by company members to commemorate the opening of Dallas' Freedman's Cemetery Memorial, it is their poetic tribute to the former slaves who founded Dallas' Freedman's Town shortly after emancipation in the late 1800s. Music and dance play an essential part in telling this moving and poignant story, and that is the definition of a musical. Soul Rep, one of eight companies chosen to participate in this year' Elevator Project, considers The Freedmans to be their signature production. Accompanied by a harpist, the production was filled with beautiful music — four original songs, including "I'm Free" and "Cotton Don't Come," written by company member Keith Price; the song "Tree of Life," from the Gullah tradition; and a post-slavery lullaby called "Lil' Pickininny." Soul Rep's co-founder and co-artistic director Guinea Bennett-Price led a fantastic 12-person cast, and La-Hunter Smith choreographed what was the best musical of last season.