Tabula Rasa is an open experiment in improvisational performance at a spacious but welcoming warehouse in Union Square, Somerville called Warehouse XI. Located right behind Field & Vine restaurant in the alley between the Independent and Bronwyn’s restaurants, Warehouse XI is a recently converted warehouse whose rough hewn quality and sheer size (in a city and square typically crunched for space) make creative minds go wild.
In Tabula Rasa, the artists enter the stage-lit space without preconceptions or plans and perform pieces as they are created, in real time. They feed off one another and create moments that are both strange and universal. Musicians in the audience are invited to bring their instruments, dancers their jazz shoes, photographers their cameras and artists their sketchbooks, and all are invited to join in the performance during the second half of the show.
TABULA RASA’s multidisciplinary experiment answers cravings artists everywhere experience, to engage with other disciplines and cross-fertilize through mutual inspiration. Boston is home to large communities of talented improvisational musicians, dancers, actors and poets, and countless more artists, videographers and lighting designers.
Some of the Northeast’s most celebrated musicians, dancers and artists have collaborated in past Tabula Rasa events, including the Jazz Saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist, Stan Strickland; New York performance painter Nancy Ostrovsky; members of the fascinating New Language Collaborative, cellist Glynis Loman, percussionist Syd Smart, pianist Eric Zinman; flautist Matt Samolis; Brazilian percussionist Marcio D’Alario; Zoe Dance choreographer and dancer Callie Chapman; Trisha Brown dancer Lisa Schmidt (aka Lani Nahele); Butoh artist Jennifer Hicks; poet and dancer Karen Klein; and the list goes on.
The UNIUN is a still unknown quantity, a blank slate, and it’s crying out for an experiment in multidisciplinary art making. Tabula Rasa throws together excellent artists of different disciplines in the new space, and challenges them to collaborate in a unified evening of sound, vision, words, and movement.
Opening this crash creativity session to a small audience offers insight into the sometimes abstruse processes artists go through to make something meaningful.
This is meant to be a community affair and an experiment in new theater.