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CAST

CAST is part of a trilogy of works that draw from a collection of audio and video recordings generated with 15 accomplished NYC performing artists, concerning the process of casting and the complexities of representation. How do we represent one another? Who represents us?

Each piece in the trilogy, CAST, STAGE, AUTHOR, is a standalone work. Rearranging the relationships between audience, performer, and event, each individual work informs and expands on one another. We invite you to view the works in any order.

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KidsDODance!
Summer Program

KidsDODance! is The Yard’s five-week summer creative dance and choreography program for children ages 11 to 14 week one and 6 to 11 weeks two - five Participants have the opportunity to build dance skills and technique, nurture their creative voices through group choreography studies, and develop connections to the professional dancers in residence at The Yard and the Martha’s Vineyard community.

Meet the Teachers!

Deborah Damast
Director of KidsDoDance
Lead teacher weeks two-five


Deborah Damast (BFA Dance: SUNY Purchase, MA Dance Education: NYU, EdD Dance Education in progress: Columbia Teachers College) has been teaching in the Dance Education program at NYU since 2002. She has taught technique, pedagogy, creative movement, production, and choreography, is the Program Director and Artistic Advisor of the Dance Education program where she also directs the dance concerts and Kaleidoscope Dancers . She founded and directs a study abroad program to Uganda each January since 2007 and has brought several Ugandan artists to the U.S as well as over 180 NYU students to Uganda. She has participated in motion capture studies, Internet Arts Collaborations, and in spring of 2019 received a collaborative Faculty Challenge Grant with Yoav Bergner and Allegra Romita for the 2019-2020 year to begin research on data and dance literacy. Deborah is currently on the faculty of the Dance Education Laboratory, LREI, The Yard, and the NYC DOE DELTA leadership team, has taught and directed programs at Peridance Center, Oregon Ballet Theatre, Harvey School, Dance in Education Fund, and has taught for New York City Ballet, the 92nd St. Y, Temple Habonim, Harkness Dance Center, Innovative Learning Centers, and others. She has created creative dance videos for children, Move N Groove Kids.

Deborah's choreography has been shown in numerous venues in NYC including World Financial Center, Riverside Church, 92nd and 14th Street Ys, Judson Church, Peridance, St. Marks Church, Context, RAPP Arts Center, Gowanus Arts Exchange, Cooper Union, Ailey Citigroup Theater, Skirball Theater, Frederick Loewe Theater, and many others, Nationally and Internationally in Europe, Asia, and Africa. She has taught and presented at conferences through National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) annually since 2004, New York State Dance Education Association (NYSDEA), CUNY, ACDFA, NYU, Kyambogo Music Education Conference 2018 in Uganda, and was the Keynote Speaker at the Utah Dance Education Organization conference in 2019. She conducts professional development for the New York City Dept. of Education Office of Arts and Special Projects and DEL/92Y, and has written curriculum for New York City Ballet, Paul Taylor Education Department, the Revised Blueprint for the Arts-Dance for the NYC DOE and continues to enjoy working with the Making It Team of the Yard on Education Initiatives and Community Engagement. Deborah serves on the Board of Directors of Peridance Contemporary Dance Company and the Dance Education in Practice Journal Editorial Board, has served on the Boards of NDEO and NYSDEA, the latter where she served as President. Deborah was a 2008 recipient of the GSO Star Faculty Award at NYU, the 2010 Outstanding Educator Award from the National Dance Education Organization, and the 2017 NYU Steinhardt Excellence in Teaching award. She enjoys teaching across the lifespan, creating, questioning and investigating, and her research interests are community engagement and academic service learning.

Kate Diaz
Lead Teacher of Week One


Kate Diaz hols a BFA in Dance Choreography from Arizona State University and an MA in Dance Education from New York University. At NYU she was recognized and awarded for outstanding achievement in dance education. For the past ten years Kate has been teaching dance full-time in NYC. She holds dual New York State PreK-12 certification in Dance and Physical Education. She created and developed two separate dance programs for Bronx Preparatory Charter School and New Explorers High School. She is currently on faculty at the Professional Performing Arts School (PPAS) in Manhattan where she teaches dance, movement, and yoga for both middle and high school programs. In addition, Kate holds a 300hr Mind Body Dancer yoga teaching license from the Perri Institute, founded by TaraMarie Perri and has taught for Namaste New York, Steps on Broadway, and SOMA Health Club Williamsburg. Kate continues to be an active performer with Deborah Damast and Dancers. This will be Kate's 7th summer at the Yard working with the KidsDoDance program.

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John Forté is a Grammy-nominated recording artist, filmmaker, and activist. First recognized for his work with multi-platinum hip hop group The Fugees, Forté has released several solo and collaborative projects to-date.

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Support The Yard and YARD ARTS 2019 by attending our benefit event! There will be music, dancing, and refreshments set to the backdrop of a beautiful Menemsha sundown - all for a good Vineyard cause. Arturo O'Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble will perform their virtuosic and progressive mix of contemporary and historic Latin jazz while members of Malpaso Dance Company join the party as special guests.

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Malpaso Dance Company
with Arturo O'Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble

One of the most sought-after Cuban dance companies in the world, island-favorite Malpaso Dance Company returns to The Yard in collaboration with the virtuosic Arturo O'Farrill and the Afro Jazz Latin Ensemble to present Osnel Delagdo’s “24 Hours and a Dog”. Malpaso will also perform "Tabula Rasa" by Ohad Naharin of Batsheva Dance Company. Both works are sure to bring a high energy performance to the MVPAC! 

Malpaso Dance Company is an associate company of JOYCE THEATER PRODUCTIONS.

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Please join us for this free public lecture with teh acclaimed dance writer, Mindy Aloff! Aloff's essays, reviews, profiles, and interviews on literature and the performing arts have appeared in many periodicals and anthologies internationally, including The New Yorker and The New York Times. She is the author of several books. A former fellow of the Woodrow Wilson and John Simon Memorial Guggenheim Foundations and a Whiting Foundation award-winner, she teaches dance criticism and history and a personal essay course for freshmen at Barnard College.

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Join us for a family friendly matinee with Malpaso Dance Company!

In the six short years since its establishment in 2012, Malpaso Dance Company has become one of the most sought after Cuban dance companies with a growing international profile. Emphasizing a collaborative creative process, Malpaso is
Dates committed to working with top international choreographers, while also nurturing new voices in Cuban choreography. Malpaso Dance Company is an Associate Company of Joyce Theater Productions.

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Malpaso Dance Company

In the six short years since its establishment in 2012, Malpaso Dance Company has become one of the most sought after Cuban dance companies with a growing international profile. Emphasizing a collaborative creative process, Malpaso is
Dates committed to working with top international choreographers, while also nurturing new voices in Cuban choreography. Malpaso Dance Company is an Associate Company of Joyce Theater Productions,

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Isaac Taylor is a 14th Generation Islander, as well as an artist in a musical family. He will play songs from his debut album “Peace In The Valley” as well as some other tunes he loves.

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Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE
Grace @20

Founded in 1985 and based in Brooklyn, New York, EVIDENCE focuses on the seamless fusion of traditional African dance with contemporary choreography and spoken word. The mission of EVIDENCE is to promote understanding of the human experience in the African Diaspora through dance and storytelling and to provide sensory connections to history and tradition through music, movement, and spoken word, leading deeper into issues of spirituality, community responsibility and liberation. EVIDENCE now tours to some 30 communities in the United States annually and has traveled overseas to Cuba, Brazil, England, France, Greece, Hungary, Mexico, and Senegal.

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A.R.T. on the Vine:
Island Grown Dance

Island Grown Dance features the work of Vineyard-based dance artists in an evening centered on community, collaboration, and creativity. As part of The Yard's larger A.R.T. on the VINE (Artists Rising Together on the Vineyard), Island Grown Dances has become a celebrated annual tradition.

This year, Island Grown Dance will feature work by Abby Bender, DanceTheYard, Claire Page, Tessa Parmar, and the 2019 Yard Interns.

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Dance to the mash ups of Tributaries: a mix of artists who have passed and the contemporary artists who have been inspired by them.

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The Schonberg Fellows/Boston is a mentored residency initiative developed in collaboration with The Boston Foundation that connects The Yard to the professional dance community of Boston. The Yard is proud to present Aysha Upchurch and Subject:Matter.

Aysha Upchurch, the Dancing Diplomat, is a storyteller who leans on African diasporic movement to bring embodied stories of joy, connection, and liberation to the stage. As a dancer, choreographer, and educator, she seeks to stir up that which is stagnant in order to bring performers and audiences into closer dialogue with each other and themselves. Aysha has served as a US State Department Cultural Envoy in dance, received a commissioning from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and is currently on faculty at Harvard, teaching a course on the importance of dance and movement in education.

Subject:Matter is a tap dance company based in Boston, MA. Since its founding in 2015, the company has created and performed almost 20 different pieces in over 50 different venues across the East Coast, Midwest, and Canada. The company has been featured at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, The Inside/Out Stage at Jacob’s Pillow, Joe’s Pub in New York City with Dance Now, House of Blues Boston, Musikfest in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, The Montreal Fringe Festival, Stage 773 in Chicago, Illinois, and with a residency at MASS MoCA.

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Please pick up your tickets at the box office beginning one hour and at least 10 minutes prior to curtain. 

  • Please arrive at least 10 minutes prior to the performance to find your seats.

  • Seating is not guaranteed for those who arrive less than 5 minutes before the start of the event. 

  • Unclaimed tickets will be released to the waitlist, and late seating is not guaranteed. Thank you for your cooperation.

Reserved seating for Performance Patron and Artist Premium members only. Please call The Yard at least 5 days in advance if you use a wheelchair or need special seating arrangements. 

Photography and video is prohibited during Yard performances. 

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