Yard Arts preview

Urban Bush Women
Urban Bush Women will be featured in week two of the festival. Photo courtesy of Christopher Duggan

By E. Vernon Laux - August 2, 2007

Opening with classic and contemporary dance solos and closing with the powerful and exciting work of the Urban Bush Women, the second Yard Arts Festival promises two weeks of spectacular entertainment. Beginning tonight and running through Saturday, August 18, the festival will include performances in theatre and music as well as dance.

The first week of the festival will offer "Contemporary and Classics," great dance solos from 1915 to today; "Log of the Skipper's Wife," a musical telling of the life of a Vineyard sea captain's wife. Marni Nixon, the singing voice behind Deborah Kerr in "The King and I," Audrey Hepburn in "My Fair Lady," and Natalie Wood in "West Side Story," will be meeting fans at the Eisenhauer Gallery. And there will be a session with Nancy Aronie and the Chilmark Writers Workshop.

Week two begins with theatre and music, "Whale Nation," and an outdoor concert with Justen Ahren and his band. Yard president emerita Elaine Miller will receive a special evening in her honor starring Ms. Nixon, and then the Urban Bush Women begin a five-day blitz which includes a dance party at Lola's as well as dance performances at the Yard.

Marni Nixon

With so much packed into 16 days, it may be difficult to decide which of the Yard Arts Festival events to see. Why not see them all?

Thursday, August 2

8 pm, Contemporary and Classics Great Dance Solos. Martha Graham's "Satyric Festival Song," Doris Humphrey's "Two Ecstatic Themes," Anna Sokolow's "Rooms," and more.

Friday, August 3

and Saturday, August 4

(See August 2)

Sunday, August 5

3 pm (See August 2)

8 pm, "Log of the Skipper's Wife," conceived and directed by Joanne Green Breuer. Music by Alan Crossman.

Wednesday, August 8

6 to 8 pm, Marni Nixon book signing, Eisenhauer Gallery, 38 N. Water Street, Edgartown.

Thursday, August 9

8 pm, Chilmark Writers Workshop with Nancy Aronie. A working session with Island writers.

Whale Nation

Friday, August 10

8 pm, "Whale Nation," with Donavon Dietz. A family-friendly tribute to the whale, presented with the Martha's Vineyard Museum. Outdoor concert with Justen Ahren and his band.

Saturday, August 11

6:30 pm, An evening in honor of Elaine Miller, starring Marni Nixon.

Sunday, August 12

(See August 10)

Monday, August 13

10 pm, Dance party at Lola's, Oak Bluffs with Urban Bush Women.

Wednesday, August 15

8 pm, "Chicken Soup," by Blondell Cummings and Urban Bush Women.

Thursday, August 16

8 pm, "Walking With Pearl: Africa and Southern Diaries," with Jawole Willa Jo Zollar.

Friday, August 17

(See August 15)

Saturday, August 18

(See August 16) Finale reception and dancing.

All events (unless noted above) are at the Yard, Middle Road, Chilmark. For ticket information and reservations, call 508-645-9662 or visit