forEva: A Tribute to the Baltimore Dance Theater

forEva: A Tribute to the Baltimore Dance Theater highlights the history of Baltimore’s longest-running professional Dance Company, the Baltimore Dance Theater. This online exhibit consists of 36 selected photographs, text, and audiovisual items from the Eva Anderson's Baltimore Dance Theater Collection (ca. 1970-2016) held by the Special Collections and Archives, University of Baltimore. 

History of the Baltimore Dance Theatre

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. 

According to the Eva Anderson Dancers Ltd. 2004-2005 season program, 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. 

Eva Anderson’s Baltimore Dance Theater provided a legacy of tradition and culture for many dancers in the city, who today consider it a springboard to their careers in modern dance. With funding from the Cultural Arts Program and other grants the ensemble provided opportunities for people living in underserved communities to train, display talents, and travel the world. Later, the dance theater moved to Howard County and continued to entertain the community.

For more information about the digital items in this online exhibit, click here to visit the main digital collection page.

The complete Eva Anderson's Baltimore Dance Theater Collection at the University of Baltimore consists of 18 linear feet of photographic prints, organizational records, scapbooks, and audiovisual materials which are described in the collection database. From the complete archival collection, 36 items have been selected for this exhibit.


Exhibit curated by Deyane Moses, Special Collections & Archives Intern (2018-2019). We thank Deyane for her work with the collection and the digital exhibit. 

Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) student, Deyane Moses (BFA Photography with a concentration in curatorial studies class of 2019), completed her year-long internship working with Angela Koukoui and Laura Bell of the UB Special Collections and Archives. Ms. Moses also curated and installed a contemporary art exhibit outside of University of Baltimore’s Wright Theater with the assistance of Ms. Koukoui. 

The forEva: A Tribute to the Baltimore Dance Theater digital exhibit is an online extension of the Special Collections & Archives forEva exhibit that was on view at the Art Gallery next to the Wright Theater on the 5th floor of the University of Baltimore Student Center at 21 W. Mt Royal Ave, Baltimore, MD 21201.

The exhibit space was open to the public at UB in Spring 2019:

April 15 - May 20, 2019

Monday-Thursday 8 a.m.- 8 p.m. and Fridays 8 a.m.- 2 p.m.


Deyane would also like to thank the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) Photo Department, including the Chair Nate Larson, and Tech Manager Jefferson Steele, and MICA's Film Professor Allen Moore, for their assistance digitizing collection materials for this project. We also thank MICA's Friends of Photo Grant for their assistance to Deyane with the exhibition printing.

About the Exhibit