Elle Emenopé: Turning Drag On Its Ear
“It’s what I’m trying to do with drag; look at it, learn it and then turn it on it’s ear.”
-Elle Emenopé, Closet Case
Born in Shorewood, Wisconsin Elle Emenopé (boy name: Elliott Reiland) came to New York and to study at NYU Tisch while he co-founded the “Negative 30 Dance Company”. He’s performed at such venues as the legendary Joe’s Pub, 92nd Street Y, NY/LA, and mplus he’s worked with several Manhattan dance companies, including Skybetter and Associates and PND/Patricia Noworol with whom he toured Germany.
This is his fourth year dancing with the Metropolitan Opera including Michael Alden and Maxine Graham’s “Un Ballo in Maschera”, Kelly Divine’s “Faust”, Julie Taymor’s “Magic Flute”, and Michael Mayer’s “Rigoletto.” Pictured above: Rusalka.
He has spent the last two off-seasons from the Met in residency in Provincetown as one of four featured artists in Audition, a weekly variety-cabaret competition that melds gender, performance, and artistic abilities. As Elle Emenopé, he placed 2nd and was awarded a seasonal artistic residency as co-host of Chelsea Pier’s Summer Show Gypsies.
Recently he’s been collaborating with dance photographer Travis Magee and was featured as the poster boy for the exhibition First Breath at Lincoln Centre. When she’s not on tour you can find Elle Emenopé hosting her own show What The Elle! every third Sunday at This-n-That (TNT) in Brooklyn.
About the Author
Raymond Helkio is an author, director and award-winning filmmaker. As a graduate from the Ontario College of Art & Design he cofounded The Reading Salon and is a Canadian Ambassador for the Moral Courage Project. Find him on Facebook.