ASH - Axis Mundi

ASH was conceived as part of the tree-themed production of Fauve Conspiracy's ARBORETUM.

A young man yearns to be connected with the energy of the trees; representing the need to belong, to be inspired to be something more than what one currently is, and to embrace that greater potential.

See the full video:



"Seed to tree...tree to seed..."

Two magical seed-planters enter the stage, giving seeds to the audience members and "watering" them.

The young man enters in a pathetic costume attempt at being a tree (constructed of junk mail and other paper products - as if cheap imitation could achieve authenticity). He is mocked and stripped bare of his costume by the seed-planters. He responds by digging deep within himself, explaining how his body parts correspond to that of a tree.

"You are not a tree, you are but a leaf on the Axis Mundi,
World Tree, Ash Tree, Yggdrasil..."



Although they remind him he is not a tree, they take pity on his valiant attempts at connecting with tree energy so they gift him with a visitation by the Axis Mundi / World Tree / Ash Tree spirit.

The formidable Axis Mundi Spirit stuns the shaken young man and orders him to partake of his body and blood (his fruit and sap). In mythology the Ash tree secreted a honey-like sap which was said to have nursed the infant Zeus.

"Eat of my body, drink of my blood, my fruit, my sap, is yours..."



The Spirit allows the young man to wield his stick; a knowing-nod to embracing masculinity, sexuality, and power.

The young man enters a sensuous dance in which the stick becomes both dance partner and weapon (while intimate projections of hands touching various types of tree bark play in the background).

The Axis Mundi returns for his stick, and impressed by the dance, imparts a precious gift: a seed - which the young man plants within himself, ultimately growing into a tree (echoed in a swirling tree video projection growing behind him).



Jason Jenn, R. Sky Palkowitz,
Clint Steinhauser & Stephen Levine,
with Doug Hammett and Pamela Samuelson on live music

First performed at Highway Performance Space
as part of "ARBORETUM" on December 8-10, 2006

Ash is dedicated to my favorite childhood ash tree, the tallest climbing tree in town, which taught me many secrets growing up. Thank you to the Keeper of the Trees, whose spirit guided me in the creation. Thank you to Ken Symington, Andy Groome, & Enrique Lopez for various important contributions as well.

photos by Angel Villanueva