Austin History Center

Johnson/Long Dance Company Records

An Inventory of the Collection

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Johnson/Long Dance Company
Title: Johnson/Long Dance Company Records
Inclusive Dates: 1992-2003
Abstract: Johnson/Long Dance Company (now Creative Arts Austin) is a performance group founded by Darla Johnson and Andrew Long. Photographs, press clippings, correspondence and ephemeral items document the dance company’s productions and community projects.
Identification: AR.2014.042
Quantity: 1.04 linear feet (3 boxes)
Location: Outer Vault
Language: The records are in English.
Repository: Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, 810 Guadalupe, PO BOX 2287, Austin, TX 78768

Administrative History

The Johnson/Long Dance Company (JLDC, formerly Darla Johnson/Andrew Long & Co, and now Creative Arts Austin) is a performance group founded by its namesakes Darla Johnson and Andrew Long in Austin, Texas in 1990. For over ten years, co-creative directors Johnson and Long choreographed evening-length dances as well as shorter pieces. In addition to their performances, the company engaged in many community-outreach programs, from organizing round-table discussions on the ideas of Buckminster Fuller to teaching art classes for children. Over the years, the priorities of JLDC shifted towards their outreach work. In 2005, the dance company turned into the non-profit organization Creative Arts Austin, which leads cross-disciplinary arts classes for at-risk youth in public schools.

In its dance productions, the company, as described by both its founders and critics alike, blurred artistic boundaries and called on a variety of disciplines and media to fully realize its pieces. As a company profile from 1998 puts it, "The work can best be described as cinematic dance -- part theatre, part narrative, part abstract. The choreography is based on a combination of ballet, modern, contact partnering, improvisation, and everyday events. It is provocative and startling, not afraid to take risks in a combination of gesture, humor, technicality, and pose. Works are conceived to be simultaneously thought-provoking and entertaining…" Community engagement was also an important part of JLDC’s dance productions. At the end of performances, the members of JLDC would invite the audience to join in a dialog discussing the performance and their reactions to it.

JLDC’s original evening-length works include 9 Chains to the Moon (1992), The Untouched Key (1994), Walking on Water (1995), Now & Again (1997), Atlas of the Universe (1998), and I Stuck My Head in the Garden (2003), which was their last production. The company has also created Grid Iron Girl, Pig Skin Boys (1995), commissioned by Winona State University and Tulsa’s Local Motion; Grand Motion (1999) with composer Darden Smith, commissioned by the Austin Symphony Orchestra; and Wait of Change (2000), a work about racism commissioned by the University of Texas. In addition, JLDC has produced collaborative evening-length works, such as Loss Soul (1999), Long’s work with Los Angeles ritual performance artist Keith Antar Mason; and Deux Et (2001), created by Johnson and Canadian artist Carolyn Boll.

In their outreach work, the Johnson/Long Dance Company actively pursued opportunities to engage with the local community. In 1995, the company won the Austin Adopt-a-School Special Projects Award for their work with Johnston High School students. Over the next three years, their relationship with the school evolved into the World Globe Project, comprised of a variety of artistic programs. This experience then grew into Exploring Dance Horizons, an arts education program across three local high schools (Johnston, Travis, and Lanier) targeting at-risk youth. The program used dance and discussion as a way to promote tolerance, respect, confidence, decision-making skills, and critical thinking. JLDC’s involvement in the schools finally crystallized in 2003 as the Believe in Me program and now serves over 1,250 students in the Austin Independent School District. The company has won two Red Apple awards, and Long received the Champion of Children’s Award and the Austin Under 40 Award for his leadership in this outreach work.

Scope and Contents

1.04 linear feet (3 boxes) of photographic and publicity materials document Johnson/Long Dance Company productions as well as outreach projects, from 1992 to 2003. About half of the materials in this collection are photographs. Included are a mix of prints, negatives, contact sheets, and a few projection transparencies (used for visuals in performances), all of which are about evenly split between black-and-white and color format. The content includes images of live productions, studio portraits of dancers in dance poses, and photographs of outreach events such as Global Awareness Day. Besides Darla Johnson and Andrew Long, individuals in the photographs are unidentified. Other photographers represented in this collection include Bill Albrecht, Frank Curry, Dennis Fagan, and Joe Long (Andrew Long’s father).

In addition to the photographic materials, there are press clippings, mostly from Texan newspapers such as the Austin American-Statesman, the Austin Chronicle, and the Dallas Morning News. Others are from unidentified publications, and some are printed from articles found on the Internet. The clippings cover reviews and announcements of the company’s performances as well as some articles on their outreach work. In addition to news clippings, there are also a few pieces of correspondence, drawings of the globe art piece created for Global Awareness Day, and other ephemeral items such as flyers and tickets.

There are no business or financial records of the dance company in the collection.


The collection is arranged in two series, I. Dance Company Productions and II. Educational Initiatives and Community Projects. Files within the subseries are arranged alphabetically by project or production.
This collection arrived at the Austin History Center in original order. Minimal arrangement was imposed on the collection. Original contents of folders are intact, but the folders have been alphabetized. Many folder titles are original, though dates were added, abbreviations were spelled out, and unlabeled folders were given titles according to their contents. Files contain photocopies of the original folder labels.


Restrictions on Access

Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use

Restriction 04: The materials in this collection may not be duplicated without the written permission of the donor. Restriction expires in 2040 when copyright transfers to AHC.

Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Johnson, Darla.
Long, Andrew, 1964- .
Creative Arts Austin.
Johnson/Long Dance Company.
Austin (Tex.)
Dance companies--Texas--Austin.
Document Types:
Black-and-white negatives.
Black-and-white photographs.
Color negatives.
Color photographs.
Color slides.
Contact sheets.
Professional correspondence.
9 Chains to the Moon.
Atlas of the Universe.
I Stuck My Head in the Garden.
Loss Soul.
Untouched Key.
Walking on Water.

Related Material

Archives and Manuscripts

  • AR.1991.001 Performing Arts Collection including qAR 03/13/003 Johnson/Long Dance Company, oversize marketing and publicity materials, 1992-2001
  • AR.2014.043 Andrew Long Photography Collection.

Periodicals Collection

  • Dance Umbrella Newsletter/News.
  • Springboard (Johnson/Long Dance Company).

Austin Files

  • AF Biography - Andrew Long.
  • AF Dancing - General D0200(1).
  • AF Dancing - Johnson/Long Dance Company D0200(58).

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Johnson/Long Dance Company Records (AR.2014.042). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Donor #: DO/2007/095

Donation Date: 2014 August 24

Processing Information

Finding aid created and encoded by Casey Newbegin and Lizzie Seiple, 2015.

Detailed Description of the Collection

I. Dance Company Productions, 1992-2003

9 Chains to the Moon
Box Folder
1 1 Black & White Live Photographs of Lawnmower Scene by Bill Leissner, 1992
2 Black & White Negatives and Contact Sheets for KLRU, 1992
3 Black & White Studio Negatives and Slides (projections), 1992
4 Black & White Live Studio Photographs for Poster, 1992
5 Black & White Studio Negatives and Contact Sheets and Color Photographs of Dialectic/Diane, 1992
6 Color Slides for KLRU, 1992
7 Color Transparencies of Diane/Darla with panic cloth, 1992
8 Correspondence; Master copies of publicity items, 1992
9 Press Clippings, 1992
10 9 Chains to the Moon and The Remote : Press clippings, 1992
11 9 Chains to the Moon and Till Human Voices Wake Us and We Drown: Press clippings, 1992
Atlas of the Universe
Box Folder
1 12 Black & White Negatives and Contact Sheets, 1998
13 Black & White Negatives and Contact Sheets of Premiere, 1998
14 Black & White Publicity Photographs (prints, contact sheets and negatives) from L.A., 1998
15 Color Slides from L.A., 1998
16 Color Slides of Premiere, 1998
17 Press Clippings and Flyers, 1998
18 Press Clippings, 1998
19 Atlas of the Universe and Loss Soul: Press clippings, 1998-1999
20 Contemporary Dance Festival: Press clippings, 1995
Creating Company
Box Folder
1 21 Press Clippings, 1994
22 Press Photographs (prints, negatives, and transparencies), 1994
23 Darla Johnson and Andrew Long: head shots (prints and negatives), undated
24 Frankie Sullivan (unfinished production): Color Slides of Nancy, 1994
Grand Motion
Box Folder
1 25 Color Transparencies of Group for Press, 1999
26 Press Clippings, 1999
I Stuck My Head in the Garden
Box Folder
1 27 Color Studio Transparencies by Dennis Fagan, 2003
28 Color Studio Transparencies of Victorian Scene, 2003
29 Press Clippings, 2003
Loss Soul
Box Folder
1 30 Black & White Documentation Photographs (contact sheets and negatives), 1999
31 Color Negatives, 1999
32 Press Clippings, 1999
Now & Again
Box Folder
2 1 Color Slides of Boxing, 1997
2 Press Clippings and Tickets, 1997
Presentation of New Works
Box Folder
2 3 Color Slides for Press, 1999
4 Press Clippings and Flyer, 1999
5 Race Matters: Representations of Whiteness and Wait of Change: Color Transparencies for Press, 2000
6 Rencontres Choreographiques Internationales Competition: Press Clipping, 2000
The Untouched Key
Box Folder
2 7 Black & White Live Photographs (contact sheets and negatives), 1994
8 Black & White Studio Photographs (prints, negatives, and contact sheets) by Dennis Fagan and Bill Albrecht, 1994
9 Color Live Slides, 1994
10 Color Live Selected Slides, 1994
11 Poster Master, 1994
12 Press Clippings and Flyer, 1994
13 Projection Slides, 1994
Till Human Voices Wake Us and We Drown
Box Folder
2 14 Black & White Live Negatives and Contact Sheets, 1992
15 Black & White Studio Photographs (prints, negatives and contact sheets), 1992
16 Press Clippings, 1992
17 Wait of Change: Color Documentation Slides, 2000
Walking on Water
Box Folder
2 18 Black & White Studio Photographs (prints, negatives and contact sheets) by Dennis Fagan, 1995
19 Color Studio Transparencies by Dennis Fagan, 1995
20 Press Clippings, Programs, and Flyers, 1995
Assorted Productions
Box Folder
2 21 Press Clippings and Photographs, 1992-2000
22 Press Masters, 1992-2000

II. Educational Initiatives and Community Projects

Adopt a School Program
Box Folder
3 1 Awards and Reports, 1993-1996
2 Global Awareness Day: Color Photographs (prints, negatives and slides) by Joe Long, 1994
3 Global Awareness Day: Color Negatives and Contact Sheets by Dennis Fagan and Frank Curry, 1994
4 Press Clippings and Promotional Materials, 1996
5 World Globe Project: Drawings, 1996
6 World Globe Project: Project File with color and black & white photographs and negatives, 1994-1996
7 Dance Umbrella: Volume 3, Spring 1998
8 Darla Johnson and Andrew Long: Press Clipping about hosting artists, undated
9 Dunbar High School (Fort Worth) Press Clippings, 2000
10 Johnston High School Black & White Negatives and Contact Sheet, Spring 2002
11 McLennan Community College (Waco) Residency Schedule, 1998
12 Metz Park Salon Color Slides, April 2002
13 Pinky the Gorilla Press Clipping, 1999
14 Western Alliance of Arts Administrators: Artwork for Presenters’ Guide, 1995