In silence, three casually-dressed men walked slowly onto the stage of the Martha’s Vineyard Performing Arts Center. Their faces stony, their bodies tensed, they stood before the audience as if ready for a fight.

Then the music of Sergey Prokofiev began to play and the dancers snapped into motion. Joined by female performers, they danced in pairs, in threes, in groups and on their own, flowing through moves that blended the aesthetics of hip-hop and modern ballet into a compelling new form.

This was the beginning of Vic’s Mix, choreographed by Victor Quijada. The Los Angeles-raised, Montreal-based dance innovator and his company Rubberband made their Martha’s Vineyard debut Wednesday night, performing the 70-minute work before an enthusiastic Island audience.

The performance was part of the Yard’s winter programming.

Mr. Quijada started out on the break dancing scene in L.A. before turning to classical dance. — Mark Alan Lovewell

What Mr. Quijada calls the Rubberband method was on display from the dancers’ first moves, set to the dark and stately Montagues and Capulets (Dance of the Knights) from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet. Where the Russian composer’s 1935 ballet casts prideful lords and ladies in a slow-stepping procession that’s as much pose as dance, Mr. Quijada’s company explodes into action, leaping and kicking. Dramatic lifts and carries, tumbling spins and floor work, soaring jumps and deeply passionate duets are all a part of Mr. Quijada’s choreographic language, developed over a career that has taken him from the streets of L.A. to the modern ballet world in New York and Montreal.

In a brief introduction before the concert, Mr. Quijada said he started out as a b-boy on the L.A. break dancing scene, where urban dancers compete against each other with creativity as well as athleticism.

In New York city, he danced with star choreographer Twyla Tharp’s company before heading north to Montreal, where he founded Rubberband in 2002 to express both his street dance and ballet vocations.

“I needed to find a way to bring the two parts of me together,” Mr. Quijada told the Island audience. “The Rubberband method follows my story and the influences I’ve had.”

Vic’s Mix, which debuted in 2016, showcases Mr. Quijada’s groundbreaking choreography from earlier works. Along with Prokofiev and Stravinsky’s Firebird, the score includes music by Bach and original work by Canadian composer, DJ and turntablist, Jasper Gahunia.

Two of the dancers started out as gymnasts; another as a soccer player in Mexico city. — Mark Alan Lovewell

As the piece unfolded, the seven-member company of four men and three women danced through themes of conflict, reconciliation and longing, their eyes as intent as their bodies were elastic.

Humor has more than one place in Mr. Quijada’s work as well. The Vineyard audience laughed in surprise and delight when, after gracefully carrying female dancers on their shoulders, the men stopped to rub their backs and arms while their partners glared. Later, the program ascended to hilarity with a comic sketch involving three competing solo dancers and one seemingly befuddled sound man who kept switching between three music cues until they became one-note samples — which then turned into another piece of music that brought the dancers together.

The evening ended where Mr. Quijada’s career began: in a hip-hop circle where each dancer took a turn in the center. Egged on by his troupe, the choreographer also busted some moves to the music of Public Enemy’s Fight the Power, while the audience cheered.

As at most events with the Winter Yard, the performance was followed by a question and answer period with the company, moderated by Yard artistic director David White. Audience members who stayed for the session learned that several of the dancers began their careers as athletes, including two gymnasts and a Mexico city soccer player.

Among the questions Islanders had for the company, 11-year-old Adagio Esposito’s was the briefest.

“How the heck do you guys do those giant flips?” he asked.

“Emotion,” answered dancer Jerimy Rivera, smiling.

“Years of practice,” added dancer Ryan Taylor.

Island schoolchildren also got to spend time with Rubberband at a Performing Arts Center assembly Tuesday.

In March, the Yard brings Malpaso Dance Company to the Island for the Cuban group’s first off-season performances here. A perennial favorite among summer Yard audiences, Malpaso will be in residency beginning March 3 with a performance March 4. During their stay, members of the company will give lessons in Island schools, Mr. White said.

To learn more about the Yard’s upcoming schedule, visit