Eva Anderson was the artistic director of Eva Anderson Dancers, Ltd., formerly known as Baltimore Dance Theatre. Ms. Anderson was born as Eva Marilyn Jones on March 8, 1933 in Chester, South Carolina. She was the oldest of three children born to Gwyndolyn Elson, a professor at Johnson C. Smith University, and Joseph Thomas Jones, a Presbyterian minister. At the age of twenty, she married Hyde Humber “Buddy” Anderson, with whom she had three children in their 59 years of marriage.
Ms. Anderson attended the Mather Academy and Johnson C. Smith University, eventually moving on to Bard College on a full dance scholarship. At Bard, she studied under Zoe Warren – a follower of Martha Graham. Anderson completed her B.A. in dance at Adelphi University in New York as well as an M.A. in Education. While in New York, she studied modern dance with followers of Martha Graham, Paul Taylor, and Merce Cunningham and studied ballet with teachers associated with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet and the American Ballet Theatre. She also studied African dance with Nigerian dancer and drummer Olatunji. During her years in New York, she danced with the eponymous Eva Jones Dance Company, Movement, Inc. (also founded by Ms. Anderson), the Universal Dancers, and the Adelphi Dance Theatre.
Anderson moved to Columbia, Maryland in 1973 and in 1976 joined the Baltimore Dance Theatre as a teacher. She soon became Assistant Director of the Company and, in 1977, assumed the role of Artistic Director. As Artistic Director, Anderson taught modern, ballet, and African dance to company members and apprentices and developed over sixty works of choreography as part of the company’s repertoire. In addition to her work with Eva Anderson Dancers, Ms. Anderson taught dance at Adelphi University, Goucher College, and Howard County Community College. She also choreographed the dance scenes in the Baltimore-based Barry Levinson film, “Avalon”. She was awarded the Maryland State Choreographers Fellowship in 1982 and 1986 and was inducted into the Howard County Women’s Hall of Fame in 2007 for her contribution to the arts. Ms. Anderson died at her home in Columbia, Maryland on October 7, 2017.