Edwin Suarez opens “The Apple Tree” as he gazes into a swirling blue pool centerstage. Black out.
2 silk screens unfold beneath the Southern Theater’s archway. I experience a projection of grass with stone amidst a soundscore of wind. I see elements of Earth, Air, Fire, and finally Water. Sachiko slowly appears upstage- she is curled in all white and slowly unravels to the gorgeous music created by Ben Abrahamson and La Conja.
Laura Horn as the Apple Tree comes to life and the two women dance together- spiraling and twisting in both unison and aunison phrases. Precise shapeshifting unfolds- these Flamenco dancers have an ability to balance fluidity in the core and arms simultaneously with bold strength and rhythmic percussion in their feet.
Sachiko and Edwin meet for a duet. She now garners a long mermaid tail-like skirt in bold orange, which she exquisitely maneuvers throughout their encounter. Passion is tangible in the air for a dramatic courting.
3 guys shows up and distract Edwin from his life mission. They circle him and tease with a 4-count meter of stomp-clap-clap-clap repeated over and over. Laura and Sachiko twirl upstage behind the safety of the white transparent walls. The men welcome Edwin back, but back to what?
All is silent and I see a balancing white light projected against the silk screen wall stage left. I see moving dots in the globe reminiscent of birds. The tree (Laura) and the girl (Sachiko) counterbalance with one another upstage. There is tension in their breath. The girl moves into the globe and then into a tunnel of light on the diagonal from downstage right to upstage left. And now I am engaged………
Our female heroine moves on this diagonal of light- she is tormented by her past and by the future ahead. Her eyes can’t stand to stay present- she only looks ahead and behind. She shivers, lunges and whirls as she closes her eyes to the passion from time to time. I see a silhouette of her spiraling fingers against her neck, torso and face. She argues with the tree, and then the shimmering pool of blue light from the opening scene reappears center stage. The girl is beckoned. She pulls away and begins a rhythmic shuffling of her feet that is synchronistically executed with the beat of La Conga’s clapping hands. She succumbs to the water and bends backwards as the tree regrows above her.
“The Apple Tree” closed with the young man (Edwin) back at the opening scene- he is haunted by images of the young girl, reminiscent of the previous scenes of her dancing. He grabs for her in the air and pulls his fists into his core. They are empty and the lights fade.