Elliott Reiland was born outside of Milwaukee in the town of Shorewood, Wisconsin. Upon starting high school in Chenequa, he joined a student performance group named “the Broadway Company”, where he found a first outlet for his artistic expression. He continued his education at NYU Tisch. While working on his degree, he was a founder of “Negative 30 Dance Company”, and their piece “Pavlov” enjoyed not only presentation by the school, but positive review from the NY Times and a tour as well, performing at such venues as the legendary Joe’s Pub, 92nd Street Y, NY/LA, and Skirball. During his time at Tisch, he also further expanded his abilities, finding that design and production suited him as well as dance itself. He co-created a dance piece entitled “Wisconsin Death Trip” based off of turn of the century obituaries, which was featured prominently.Upon completing his degree, Reiland began directing shows for NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program, helping bring to life and act as dramaturge for their original musicals “Let it Rain”, “Four”, and “Jennifer: The Unspecial”, which toured thereafter.
He also performed with numerous Manhattan dance companies, including “Skybetter and Associates” and “PND” with Patricia Noworol, with whom he toured Germany. During this time, he also served as assistant to Sean Curran, the current chair of NYU's Tisch Dance, working with him on shows at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, the El Paso Opera, and he helped co-choreograph Mark Lamos' regional production of “Into the Woods” with original Broadway Little Red Riding Hood Danielle Ferland. He then struck out on his own as the choreographer of the University of Rochester’s production of “The Adding Machine”.
As a model, he has been featured by dance photographer Travis Magee, and was featured and the poster boy for his exhibition "First Breath" at Lincoln Center.
As a dancer, he is currently employed by the Metropolitan Opera, and will soon begin a fourth year as a dancer there, having danced in 11 shows, 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."
He has also spent the last two off-seasons from the Met in a residency in Provincetown as one of four featured artists in “Audition”, a weekly variety-cabaret competition, melding gender, performance, and artistic abilities. As Elle Emenope, he won 2nd overall with a cash prize and a seasonal artistic residency as co-host of Chelsea Pier's Summer Show “Gypsies”.
When not on tour or seasonal residency, he has a weekly show as Elle Emenope in NYC and guests at a number of other shows, utilizing a number of different artistries, including singing, playing the ukulele, dance, costuming, and general wit. His drag as Elle is a challenge to traditional drag.
“I began becoming very frustrated with drag because it didn’t make sense in my mind for an art form that is supposed to be freeing and breaking the rules has now become a codified “drag queen” with specific parameters of right and wrong, dos and don’ts, and choosing an identity that you actually become stuck in. “
“I believe that are 2-3 biological sexes, but that gender is an energy that not only falls on a spectrum, but is also allowed to shift and change. I also believe that we live in a society that has many archaic templates, and now we are at a beautiful time where we can step away and ask if they are learned or if they are innate. Gender is a playground we are meant to explore, and through exploration, we can actually find our true identity.”