Tribute Honors Donor and Dance Legend Anderson

Anderson in action, courtesy of Langsdale Special Collections
Modern dance legend Eva Anderson’s gift of her papers, photographs, publicity materials and artifacts to Langsdale Special Collections helps us celebrate her life in perpetuity. On November 26th at Morgan State University, those close to her personally, professionally, and in spirit gathered to honor the late Baltimore choreographer and teacher in a way that was specific, personal, and a testament to the joy of movement and artistry she embodied during her five-decade career.

Langsdale’s Rodgers-Koukoui with some Special Collections’ show-and-tell

Langsdale’s own Angela Rodgers-Koukoui accepted the challenge of curating a mini exhibit of Anderson-focused ephemera that included photographs of Ms. Anderson and the Eva Anderson Dance Company, as well as publicity posters and even Ms. Eva’s theatrical costumes. Meanwhile, former Company dancers performed some of Eva Anderson’s best known works, including The Elephant and Hambone.

The Company in the 1970s

Eva Anderson Dance Company and friends in November 2017

The Sunday evening tribute showcased the talents of such local luminaries as Branch Morgan; professor of dance at Morgan and master of ceremonies Charles Carter; and Yvette Shipley and Sharon Henderson. Rodgers-Koukoui recounted Mr. Morgan’s recollections of Eva Anderson’s guidance in coaxing out his gifts as a performer. Her advice was to allow introspection to inform movement, which he showcased to great effect in his tribute.

Honoring a legend is a team effort, and University of Baltimore collaborated with the community (Angela even gave the audience a brief introduction to community archives), and with Morgan State. Howard Community College will be offering a scholarship in Ms. Anderson’s memory(after working in Baltimore City’s Cultural Arts Program in the 1970s, she made Howard County her home.) We’re glad to be giving some treasures from Ms. Anderson’s work a permanent place in the archives, where her gifts to Baltimore’s cultural life will continue to live on.

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