Eva Anderson's Baltimore Dance Theater Collection Edit


R0163 BDT


  • Circa 1960s to 2000s (Creation)


  • 15 Linear feet (Whole)


  • Content Description

    Organizational files and performance documentation, including audio, video, and photographic materials

  • Custodial History

    The collection was donated to the University of Baltimore Foundation by Eva Anderson on August 15, 2017.

  • Biographical Note

    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.

  • Historical Note

    The Baltimore Dance Theatre was established in 1975 by dancers Orville Johnson and Maria Broom. The company was originally developed as a community arts program for students at Dunbar High School. In 1977, Eva Anderson took over the role of Artistic Director from Orville Johnson. In 1981, 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.

External Documents