Eva Anderson's Baltimore Dance Theatre takes great pains in creating an evening that is both entertaining and enlightening. In this company's latest endeavor at the Baltimore Museum of Art this weekend, Ms. Anderson joined with jazz composer and pianist Don Pullen in a collaborative venture that illustrated the inherent compatibility of both art forms. Jazz is a true American ,, product, as is modern dance; Ms. Anderson's choreography and Mr. Pullen's music remedied the curious fact that the two forms only occasionally meet.
The first half of the program was dedicated to Mr. Pullen's works. Opening with the flamenco-inspired "Indio Gitano," Mr. Pullen and musicians Gary Richardson and Willie Barber warmed the audience to receive a standing ovation. Two solos by Mr. Pullen, the contemplative "Silence Equals Death" and a beautiful lullaby of sorts, "Ode to Life," were followed by the trio performing the warm and upbeat "Jana's Delight."
In the second half of the program, four dances by Ms. Anderson were set to Mr. Pullen's music and benefited by having live accompaniment. "Reach Yesterday I.O.U." was the highlight of three new works presented by the choreographer. Set in four sections, and with the company enlarged by several guest performers, the work was straight forward in its message of disenfranchised youth and theatrically attuned in its use of stylized pantomime.