The Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company offers a striking collection of dance works by Artistic Director Ellen Sinopoli. Her choreography spans the spectrum from brilliant transient gems to stunning full evening works

Current Repertory:

As Seen From Above - This music from William Matthews’ A Book of Hours and performance by the Capital Trio is filled with imagery and imagination that speaks to swirls, accents, sudden stillness, unexpected energy and speed, voluminous quiet. We have embraced all.

Auriga - The dance was part of ESDC’s 2017 collaborative project with four composers from the College of St. Rose. To create the dance, I visualized and tried to recreate three orbits slowly moving around, through and upon each other. Andrew McKenna Lee’s title, Gravity and Air, comes from his Scordatura Suite, which is a 2003 collection of three pieces for solo guitar. A musical melody (the “air”) develops and grows overtop of a slowly unfolding, repeated chord (the “gravity”) with the two slipping together at the end.

Embedded Façade - This piece was part of ESDC’s 2017 collaborative project with four composers from the College of St. Rose. The architecture of the dance is very geometric and directional in its design and entangles itself beautifully with Bruce Craig Roter’s musical construction. His contemporary classical music for string was inspired by the art work of Creighton Michael.

Sungaya Inexpectata - The dance was part of ESDC’s 2017 collaborative project with four composers from the College of St. Rose. The dance is propelled by Jared Dirolf’s improvisational, unpredictable and playfully developed rhythms. His composition, Wave Function Collapse, is performed with guitar and a modular synthesizer of Dirolf’s own design and construction.

Tumble - The superb recording of Terry Riley’s composition, “Etude for the Old Country” played on piano for four hands by the Zofo Duet, is filled with the visual sense of musical notes tumbling over each other in rhythmical patterns that are so unexpected and exciting. These images and sound drive the movement and dynamic of ESDC’s newest creation.

"..."Clearly the music inspired Sinopoli’s romp of tilting, rollicking and rolling moves that sent the ensemble on a journey that was at times lively and others sedate…at the ending as others sprawled flat on the floor, [the final dancer] turned about in eerie silence until she joined the others, draping her body among theirs. Sinopoli and her dancers are an artistic treasure, one the region must cherish.
~ Daily Gazette

House of Fables- How does one choose her life’s pathway? How do the intertwinings of family drive the decision? How bold can she be? Please enter the House of Fables.

"..."The sensuous flow of movement, gently flavored in places by classical Indian dance, suggested life unfolding over time. Like Chandra’s music, it resisted a conventional arc—speeding up and slowing down, building and relaxing, until it came to an ending that could also have been a beginning. "
~ Times Union

Speaking Duchamp- This dance pays homage to Marcel Duchamp, the artist whose work, “Nude Descending a Staircase”, made the biggest splash at the 1913 Armory Show in NYC. Contemporary artist Michael Oatman's D'entre les Morts video works were inspired by Duchamp's painting and play throughout the dance.

"..."Sinopoli takes the ascension theme into the third dimension by having the dancers move on a lightweight rolling staircase, which they eventually tip over, transforming it into a sculpture in its own right."
~ Times Union

Continuum - As the specially commissioned music of NYC violinist and composer Cornelius Dufallo resonates with a tinge of the ancient as much as the modern, the dance gathers and disperses like the folds of an accordion in play. It moves forward while never losing sight of what we bring with us from out beginnings.

Texture of the Whole - Beginning with our examination of specific concepts related to physics from the perspective of muscle and skeletal impetus, spatial form, partner interaction or breath, what evolved and developed was a series of extremely dynamic and visceral patterns that demand acute awareness and involvement from each dancer.

Solo Flight - This series of solos captures each dancer’s unique artistic personality and energy-- sunny, flirty, curvaceous or mysterious.

Filament - This dance explores the different aspects of a filament, from tightly wound and electric to threads that are loose and blown by the breeze.

To Sing, Laugh, Play - Athletic, serendipitous and filled with joy, this new dance soars to the music of contemporary classical composer John Adams with selections from his John's Book of Alleged Dances.

"...(The dancers)seem powered by internal combustion engines. They're on a mission to move, and they look as if nothing could stop them"
~ Times Union

Zarmina- Set to a new cello composition by Cornelius Dufallo and inspired by a landai by Zarmina, an Afghan poet martyr. "I am shouting but you don't answer - One day you'll look for me and I'll be gone from this".

Sea Ghosts- Driven by the nuanced textures of William Harper's electroacoustic music, The Gallowing Sea, this dance delves wildly into a mythical underwater world. The set design, by visual artist Calvin Grimm, features a projected painting from his stunning Deep Ocean/Deep Space series.

Blues - Blues music is sassy, mournful, angry, playful, flirtatious, dangerous… and we dance it all.

"...the dance skips and spins as a juicy delight … the finale is one joyous explosion"
~ Daily Gazette

A Gathering in Red, Departing - With music by Cornelius Dufallo, a virtuosic and versatile acoustic and electric violinist, this dance captures the sweep and breath of his compelling score.

"The dancers, dressed in red, seem blown like leaves or birds by soft breezes and high winds."
~ Times Union

Brink - This dance ingeniously dives into the disparate and compelling music of Dave Douglas, American trumpeter and two-time Grammy nominated jazz musician.

"Thisis a cool, ultra-hip work that devoured space while expending gobs of energy..."
~ Daily Gazette

Sepia - Set to Aaron Copland's "Music for the Theater" this ensemble work is at times reflective or exuberant, nuanced or bold, goofy or grand.

"The dancers are a band of faries or a Grecian frieze come to life..."
~ Times Union


Contrapuntal Fling - Leonard Bernstein's "Prelude, Fugue and Riffs" drives this energetic piece as the dancers scat, syncopate, shadow and swing to a truly extraordinary array of sound.

“...surrenders to the innate desires of the body to follow the impulses called up by the music ~ Times Union

Compas – A dance delightfully filled with the singular energy and dynamic of the “compas” (groove) for Flamenco: Tango, Siguiriya, Farruca, Rumba and Bulerias. Maria Zemantauski’s stunning musical composition is fused with an array of jazz and funk that takes the dancers and audience on a most enticing ride.

“Turns, kicks, slides, circling hips, staccato rhythm and lots of attitude gave the piece heat and punch; the fluid sections were particularly striking. ~ Times Union


 Oh My… - A whimsical suite of five mood swinging dances, inspired by snippets of prose collected by Sinopoli and the music from the classical crossover disc “Appalachia Waltz” by Edgar Meyer, Mark O’Connor and Yo-Yo Ma.

“sunny…luxuriously lazy…fun and fickle…captured the imagination”
~ Daily Gazette

 The Walk - A solo choreographed to music by Cornelius Duffalo of the string quartet Ethel that explores the styles of walking, but with a flair.

“[the dancer] was divine in this elegant dance in which she appears as a polished debutante practicing her entrance into the ball. She was gorgeous.” ~ Daily Gazette


 Into Dark Moods - An ensemble for five dancers that explores the sense of disconnect, so much a part of the world today. The work is choreographed to “Pottery Shards” composed by Münir Beken for string orchestra after a visit to Western Asia Minor.

“a gripping portrayal of the desperate and lonely” ~ Daily Gazette

Spill Out! - Challenging the limits of movement and space, ESDC goes to the extreme edge of discovery as the dance, music, video and lighting create an evening of visual enchantment.

“not only intrigues, but also transports us to somewhere we’ve never been before” ~ Times Union

Vooz-é-la - Set to four songs by Zap Mama whose eclectic mixture of styles hovers somewhere between soul, gospel, pygmy song and Afro-Cuban rhythms, ESDC’s dancers are propelled and inspired by the acrobatic female voices of these extraordinary singers.

“a gorgeous, juicy dance, one of Sinopoli’s best…crisp, sensual and pure fun all at once.” ~ Times Union


Ream - Drawn to the twists, turns, suspensions and rhythms of Maria Zemantauski’s classical guitar, Sinopoli conjures images of reams of paper being released from high above. As she watched the fascinating journey of descent, her solo work for a female dancer gracefully drifted into being.

Jammin’ - Sinopoli makes a sizzling connection with Laurel Masse (one of the premiere jazz and cabaret artists of her generation and co-founder of the Grammy award-winning vocal group Manhattan Transfer) and Adrian Warnock-Graham (a cool, cool swing dancer whose improvisational shenanigans dazzle).

“In Jammin’ Sinopoli brings together member of two tribes, the lindys and the moderns, and makes it smooth as a drugstore malt.”

Animal Rhythms - ESDC partners with composer/percussionist Brian Melick to create a fascinating exploration of animal movement through original live music. This dance puts forth the fun and engaging movements and images of animals moving across the veldt - noble and graceful giraffes, laughing and mocking gibbons and elegant gazelles that run like the wind.

“giraffes with long upraised arms, lumbering gibbons with humped shoulders and gazelles who flew about the stage” ~ Metroland

Falling – Commissioned by The Egg for its 25th anniversary, this dance features music composed and performed by percussionist Brian Melick and guitarist Maria Zemantauski.

“Responding to Zemantauski’s rising and falling arpeggios and Melick’s ripples and thwacks, the dancers molded the space around them, not slicing the air, but pressing and pushing it as if they were working a mound of clay.” ~ Metroland


Becoming – Based on a Rainer Maria Rilke poem, this dance for a solo female pulsates with longing, questioning and beauty to Zoe B. Zak’s music for voice and accordion that brings a captivating combination of tonalities that are tied to her Jewish-American roots.

“the dance simmered with uncertain longing…” ~ Times Union


Rising Low – Choreographed to music by Otis Taylor (blues) and Iris DeMent (country), Sinopoli tells a poignant tale of loss and loneliness.

“Rising Low is one of those works that resonates into the deepest recesses of the heart and mind.” ~ Daily Gazette


Winged – Commissioned by The Egg for its 25th anniversary, this dance features vocalist Siobhan Quinn and is inspired by the imagery of birds – free and soaring as well as still and flightless, bound to the earth.

“an airy, haunting quality of birds in flight” ~ Daily Gazette

Coming & Going
– Dancing to music by “Junkman” Don Knaack, the entire company blasts it way onto the stage with high-flying energy and fearless athleticism.

Knaack’s one-man gamelan orchestra of oil drums, fly swatters, pot lids and plastic drainage tubing, fuelled the split-leg jumps, runs, crashed and rolls of [the dancers]” ~ Metroland

From the mind, of a single, long vine, one hundred opening lives - Bold spirited choreography intertwines with Jim Lewis’ finely crafted sculptures to carve a landscape of vivacity and intimacy. A full evening work, the dance unearths and delves into the legends, secrets and anecdotes emanating from these African influenced designs.

“The eight dancers related so intimately with Jim Lewis’ set of carved cedar objects that the dancers’ bodies and the wooden benches and tools combined as powerful sculptures, part human, part glowing wood” ~ Metroland

Regalis – A lush ensemble work set to a cello score by Gideon Freudmann. Truly, music in motion.

“rich with sensual texture of draping arms, long extensions, soft rolls” ~ Times Union


DreamsA passionate duet that explores dreams and sleep, set to the haunting music of Arvo Paert.

...arrested the intangible state of sleep and the mysteries of a dream - in moments of fear and those of fancy... ~ Daily Gazette


Vain Endeavors – A spoof that offers a witty and satirical look at the world of high society and all of its false pretensions.

"..a clever trio that satirizes narcissism, envy and one-upmanship…a dance of madness, obsessiveness disguised as fine manners ..." ~ Metroland

Tiamat – Provocative and primitive. Finely detailed moves, from compressed shapes to splayed extensions to quirky arrangements and isolations, capture the audience.

“carved beauty from deliberately effortful horizontal bends and vertical stretches” ~ Metroland


Clusters - A mesmerizing ensemble work involving patterns of groupings and clusters that combine crystallizing stillness and sculpted form with the shattering effect of loose driving energy.

“a mature work of art that was seductive, ritualistic and completely mesmerizing ~ Daily Gazette


Pierre ’s Words - A multi-layered work with dancers, musicians and a poet responding to and guided by the electronic orchestration of composer Joel Chadabe.

“abstract and expressionistic...shape, motion, balance and velocity on their own terms” ~ Metroland

Segue – witty, playful, surprising with music by Brian Melick

“like one flexible machine” ~ Metroland



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