The Baltimore Dance Theatre was established in 1974 by dancers Orville Johnson and Maia Broom. The company was originally developed as a community arts program for students at Dunbar High School. In 1975, Eva Anderson took over the role of Artistic Director from Orville Johnson. In 1980, the company was incorporated as the non-profit Eva Anderson Dancers, Ltd. The company subsequently moved from Baltimore to Columbia, Maryland, where it took up residency at the Howard County Arts Council. The company performed at the Howard County Arts Council as well as at the Baltimore Museum of Art. The company toured domestically throughout Maryland as well as in Virginia, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Arkansas, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, and toured internationally to Germany, Austria, and Italy.
The mission of Eva Anderson Dancers, Ltd. was to create and perpetuate American dance with a special emphasis African-American dance forms. The company’s repertoire included classical modern, classical ballet and classical African-American dance forms. It performed choreography by Eva Anderson and a variety of choreographers and composers. Members of the company took part in residencies in schools and taught public classes. Eva Anderson Dancers, Ltd. offered apprenticeship training for young professionals and developed performance opportunities for professional dance artists in Maryland.
This historical note is taken, in part, from the Eva Anderson Dancers Ltd. 2004-2005 season program.