Thesis Concert Explores Extraordinary World of Flannery O'Connor

March 11, 2015

Emory College senior Sarah Freeman unites artistic and literary disciplines to present an evening-length dance concert based on the life and work of author Flannery O¿Connor. ¿All Being Displaced: Movement Translations of Flannery O¿Connor¿ premieres March 26-27, 2015 at 8 p.m. in the Dance Studio of the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts.

The work features a cast of ten dancers in two pieces based on a short story by Georgia-native O¿Connor, as well as a solo inspired by Freeman¿s research into her personal letters and archives at Emory¿s Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library (MARBL).

This unedited entrance to the author¿s private reflections reveals a world in which even the familiar or mundane is pierced with sublime purpose or brutal comedy. ¿All Being Displaced¿ will introduce this world through movement in an evening dedicated to the bizarre, the transcendent, and the disturbingly truthful.

Freeman¿s ensemble pieces take the short story ¿The Displaced Person¿ as a jumping off point, with the first piece following the narrative plot of the story, while the other translates literary devices such as motif, characterization, and dialogue into movement. O¿Connor¿s story integrates complex themes of racial and class discrimination in the American South and during the Holocaust with O¿Connor¿s staunch Catholic faith and ever-present wit. Freeman hones in on imagery of distortion and the grotesque.

Freeman¿s solo piece was created on-site at O¿Connor¿s family farm, Andalusia, in Milledgeville, Georgia. Inspired by the physical restrictions imposed on O¿Connor and the relationship between bodily ability and the creative process, Freeman¿s choreography reimagines the landscape of O¿Connor¿s life in relation to Freeman¿s own construction of herself as a character.

¿All Being Displaced¿ premieres at the Dance Studio in the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts March 26-27, 2015 at 8 p.m. This concert is free and open to the public. No reservations are required.

¿All Being Displaced¿ is performed as part of Sarah Freeman¿s honors thesis in Dance and Movement Studies at Emory, a requirement for graduating with honors from Emory College. The project is supported in part by Emory College Center for Creativity and Arts, the John H. Gordon Stipe Society, Scholarly Inquiry and Research at Emory (SIRE), MARBL, and the Emory Dance Program.

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Emory Dance Program
The Emory Dance and Movement Studies Program is a curiosity-driven environment that values collaborative relationships, unique perspectives that emerge from the imagination, and original movement research