The Yard is on a dance mission. “Things like dance don’t root here easily,” said David White, The Yard’s artistic and executive director. “Normally dancers don’t live on Islands because the human labor involved in making communal work draws from a larger population.” For that reason, dance is often the exclusive realm of urban centers.

And yet The Yard has been a Chilmark institution since its founding in 1973, and by all accounts it is thriving today.

Performances this weekend are Friday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 6:30 p.m. — Alison L. Mead

This weekend is the culmination of the annual three-week Bessie Schonberg residency program, in which choreographers and dancers live at the Yard to fully immerse themselves in their work. On Friday, June 12, at 8 p.m. and Saturday, June 13, at 6:30 p.m., the results of the residency will be displayed on stage. Participating fellows include Chelsea & Magda, Amber Sloan and Raphael Xavier.

Chelsea & Magda are a pair of Philadelphia-based performers whose work spans the dance, theatre and stand-up genres and explores themes such as cultural refusal, feminist musing and self-love. Amber Sloan is a longtime member of The Bang Group, a New York city-based percussive dance and tap company, and a veteran Yard performer.

“We have been bringing The Bang Group to The Yard for four years now,” said Alison Manning, The Yard’s managing director and co-producer. “They have performed here, made new work here and have taught in our schools, too.”

The third Schonberg resident, Raphael Xavier, is a Philadelphia-based hip-hop veteran whose background as a Hip Hop magazine photographer informs his technique as a dancer.

Visiting mentor David Brick oversees the Schonberg fellows in their creation and performance residencies, offering input and guidance throughout the research and rehearsal phases of their processes.

“I see myself as a resource, and I try to prove myself useful as early as possible because then I am at their beck and call,” he said. “If they are like, ‘wow, that guy is useful to have in the room,’ then they ask me to come to rehearsal. And if I am failing, they are like, ‘that’s nice, thanks, David.’”

Mr. Brick also helps artists suspend their moment of creation. “What’s amazing about this opportunity is that it allows them to go deeper into research because all of the forces in the performance world conspire to have you make shallow work and shallow decisions,” he said. “There is never enough time, it’s resource intensive and there is a lot of judgment every time a show is happening.”

Alison Manning and David White want you to dance. — Alison L. Mead

Schonberg Fellows enter the residency during different stages of the creation cycle. What they have in common is that each choreographer brings with them three collaborators. The use of the term collaborator is key, as they can be dancers, composers or even fashion designers. The staff recalled a performance by multidisciplinary artist Deborah Lohse, who staged a runway show outdoors. Ms. Lohse strutted up and down a makeshift runway acting as a moving mannequin while a collaborator constructed a custom tailored crystal chandelier dress on her, while she was in motion.

“Even though he is a fashion designer he ended up being a performing element in the piece because he built this dress on her, over a bra and underpants on the runway,” said Ms. Manning.

“It was basically a piece about making a piece that was performed at twilight with lights running through the trees in our garden,” added Mr. White.

As part of each performance cycle, The Yard also features an ongoing dance education program that utilizes the visiting professionals throughout the summer. The classes are always open to the public, and draw considerable interest from Islanders from all walks of life. Mr. Brick, who has infused his unique dance vocabulary into The Yard for three seasons now, commented on the population of Vineyarders who attend his classes.

“Women of all ages come to my weird, out-there experimental workshops,” said Mr. Brick. “There were also two teenage boys and a fisherman at one.”

“It’s about the community dancing,” added Mr. White.

But Mr. White is not satisfied with just being a summer destination for dance. Jesse Keller, the director of Island programs and education, oversees a year-round project that works with children in the schools.

Visiting mentor David Brick. — Alison L. Mead

“Any school or classroom can come to us and we create an applied movement and dance curriculum for them,” said Mr. White. This could mean reforming physical education or creating a curriculum around a given subject. “For us, making dance important to the life of the Island and not just necessarily on stage or in concert, that is fundamentally what our mission is about,” said Mr. White.

This summer, The Yard will host a variety of dancers from around the world. Cuba’s foremost contemporary dance company, the Havana-based Malpaso, will visit The Yard in August and perform two of its latest works. Founded in 2012 and led by Osnel Delgado, Malpaso consists of 10 dancers, including former members of Danza Contemporanea de Cuba. Malpaso has also collaborated with U.S. choreographers, such as Brooklyn native Ronald K. Brown, who will also perform at The Yard with dance company Evidence, as part of The Yard’s 2015 Offshore Creation Residency. His performance, in which he will explore contemporary modes of expressing African and Caribbean traditions, will be a co-presentation of The Yard and the Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival.

Yard alumni artists Bridgman|Packer will return this season to perform, too. They will share an integrated video and dance piece called Truck, which is staged in two parts, both performed in the back of a U-Haul truck. They will perform at the Chappy Community Center and in The Yard’s parking lot.

“They create magical environments and this piece happens to be in a truck,” said Mr. White.

Some of what is created in residency at The Yard will go on to have multiple lives. Ms. Lohse’s runway piece was subsequently performed at the Island Moving Company in Newport, R.I. and at the Winter Garden Atrium in New York city. And some of it will be discarded. But Mr. White isn’t fixated on the outcome.

“In the end, it goes back to the Island speaking dance.

For The Yard’s complete performance schedule, visit