Three downtown divas arrive on the up-Island dance scene this weekend.

New York choreographers Jodi Melnick, Vicky Shick and Jon Kinzel are performing at the Yard in Chilmark today and tomorrow, June 29 and 30, both performances beginning at 8 p.m.

“It’s not diva in the sense of self-importance. They are dancers’ dancers,” Yard executive director David White told the Gazette. “They are admired in their fairly central circle for something they bring — a quality of performance — that doing dance is a really vital everyday necessity.”

Ms. Melnick, who currently teaches at Barnard College, has danced with the Twyla Tharp Dance Company, John Jasperse and Trisha Brown to name a few. Ms. Shick is considered one of Trisha Brown’s iconic dancers and received a Bessie award during her tenure there, as well as a Guggenheim Foundation Fellow. They are joined by Mr. Kinzel, a dancer and choreographer with Vineyard roots whose mother still lives here.

For those concerned about not “getting” modern dance, there’s nothing to get with these dancers.

“These are really pure and abstract expressions,” Mr. White said. “There is no narrative here other than what you bring to it...but what you should get out of it is this enormous grace and elegance of people who are so comfortable in their own skin dancing.”

“There’s no ego attached to it, in fact there’s exactly the opposite,” he continued. “It’s almost apologetic. They’re so transparent in how and why this is important to them.”

Tickets are $25 and available at or at the theatre door.