The Yard’s 2024 summer season features dancers from diverse backgrounds and disciplines looking to spread the power and joy of movement.

From Haitian dance, Afro-Caribbean beats, to classic Indian dance and movement inspired by Black and queer experiences, artists are bringing personal and impactful stories to the Island.

Executive director Stephanie Pacheco said a common theme for the artists is exploring relationships with the world around them.

“They’re all really speaking to their world experience and the experiences of their communities,” Ms. Pacheco said. “That’s something art cares about
. . . making sure that we’re advancing and platforming work that’s in conversation about issues and ideas.” 

Jessie Jeanne Stinnett, co-director of Boston Dance Theater. — Jeanna Shepard

The season opens this weekend with a collaborative residency performance between The Yard, Boston Dance Theater and The Trustees of Reservations. Shows take place Friday and Saturday at Long Point Wildlife Refuge.

Jessie Jeanne Stinnett, co-director of Boston Dance Theater, has been developing this fellowship for years. Ms. Stinnett was trained by Al Gore as a Climate Reality Leader. She said getting to connect with people on the Island about their experiences involving climate change has been impactful. 

“Their experiences are really tied to time, place and space,” she said. “We have this really beautiful opportunity to step in to get a window to those experiences. It feels almost like we don’t teach them anything new. They really teach us and we just give them a platform.” 

Ms. Stinnett said she has always been interested in the intersection of movement and climate, and during the pandemic she become more connected with the climate activism network. 

“As a dance company that functions with a certain business model, [I was thinking] what are the areas of plasticity?” she said. “Can we curate experiences that allow us to sort of process and think differently about how our work and the impacts of our work on community?”  

For Ms. Pacheco and the entire Yard team, the partnership has been fulfilling. 

Khris Henry. — Jeanna Shepard

“[What this fellowship is about] is kind of the ethos and the spirit of this work,” Ms. Pacheco said. “How are we listening to what’s happening in the land and how are we responding? That’s been really exciting to join and help with that.” 

Next up is a Haitian partnership between musician Val Jeanty and the Boston-based dance company Jean Appolon Expressions, who are in residence from June 23 to 30. There will be a Haitian dance workshop June 26 at Vineyard Arts Project, and a public performance on June 28 at the Performing Arts Center.  

The summer season also includes La Mezcla — rooted in Chicana, Latina and indigenous traditions — and the Ragamala Dance Company, which brings a Bharatanatyam style of dance to the Vineyard. 

Edgard Arty, the new marketing manager of The Yard, said he is excited about the season’s diversity of talent.

“These are all choreographers and groups that definitely are masters in their craft and, being my first time, I’m excited to see what it looks like,” he said.  

Olivia Coombs. — Jeanna Shepard

Aside from main stage performances, each residency offers workshops to the public, where dancers of all ages and experience levels are welcome. According to Ms. Pacheco, the Yard’s goal is to not only showcase talented artists but also encourage everyone to take part in community movement. 

“We just want people to feel comfortable getting up,” Ms. Pacheco. “We all have so many complicated relations with our bodies and with our health. What we want to do is invite people to just come as you are, show up and feel that they can have a welcoming and open experience that is fun and joyful.” 

For more information and a full summer schedule, visit