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Lou Sydel is a choreographer whose work draws from the study of gesture as well as experiences of transness, imagining dance as a living journal for a body moving towards new directions. 


He is a graduate of Bowdoin College with a degree in interdisciplinary performance and anthropology and has studied physical theater at LaGuardia Arts HS and Accademia Dell’Arte.

He is the artistic director of Gesture Theater, a trans-led movement company currently in residency at NYU Tisch through WADE. Lou dances regularly with the Ellen Robbins Alumni Group at New York Live Arts. He is also a founding member of the artistic leadership circle of PhysFest, NYC's first ever physical theater festival this January.


Notable performances include NYLA, The Center at West Park, Triskelion Arts, Triskelion Arts, La Mama Puppet Slam, Edinburgh Fringe, Westbeth, Celebration Barn, the Teatro Virginian, Norte Maar Dance at Socrates, Sokolow Theater / Dance Ensemble, Rascal Arts at Theater Row, and at the International Society for Gesture Studies.

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Photo by Julia Durr





HAIR SISTERS    November 2023

  • Puppets by Leah Levine presented at the La Mama Puppet Slam

WAITING / POINTING  November 2023

  • Originally commissioned (site-specific) for the WestFest: All Over Westbeth Series

  • Costume manipulation, clowning, durational work about trans community

  • Most recently performed for Waxworks at Triskelion Arts

PURGATORIO August 2023

  • Ensemble piece produced at The Space Triplex, Edinburgh Fringe

  • A queer adaptation of Dante's Purgatory set in a techno-club

Gesture Studies Poster Session July 2022

• International Society of Gesture Studies held at Loyola University

On The Other Hand Showings 2021-present                                                                                 

• Evening-length solo show produced at Bowdoin College; PortFringe Maine

• Excerpts produced at The Celebration Barn; New York Live Arts

Una Serata Mascherata (Commedia Dell'Arte show) October 2022

• Teatro Virginian / Accademia Dell'Arte, Arezzo Italy

HOOK, LINE, & SINKER April 2022

• Newly developed musical based on the myth of Ondine

• Choreography incorporated large scale puppets and ensemble of actors

• Produced by the Bowdoin College Theater and Dance Department

COLE: A Musical Review 2019

• Ensemble driven, devised show about the life of Cole Porter

• Bowdoin College Theater and Dance Department

Frog and Toad the Musical 2019

• Bowdoin College Theater and Dance Department 

Ellen Robbins Alumni Group 2018-present

• New York Live Arts

• Presented 2 original solos as well as company pieces (2018-present)

Ellen Robbins Dances by Very Young Choreographers 2008-18

• New York Live Arts / DTW

• Presented 10 original solos from the ages of 8 to 18 


Celebration Barn's 50th Anniversary Spectacular • Devised with company • South Paris, ME

The Beginning of Something • Dir. Aretha Aoki • Bowdoin College • Brunswick, ME

Around the World • Dan Wagnor, set by Gwyneth Jones • Bowdoin College • Brunswick, ME

Like Water • Dir. Lucia Gagliardone • Star Mountain Amphitheater • Sharon, VT

The People's Performance • The Auditorium Theater • Chicago, IL

Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind • Dir. Hugo Hentoff • Bowdoin College
Norte Maar Dance at Socrates • Dir. Julia K. Gleich • Socrates Sculpture Park • Long Island City

The Unanswered Question • Dir. Samantha Géracht • Sokolow Theater / Dance Co. NYC

Evolution • Dir. Adriane Erdos • The Field • NYC

In a Room Alone • Dir. Brian Solomon • Rascal Arts, Theater Row • NYC

You Can't Take it With You • Dir. Robert Krausz • LaGuardia Arts HS • NYC

Homage to Edgar Allen Poe • Dir. Jim May • Sokolow Theater / Dance Co. • NYC


Waldo: an Original Play • By Spencer Wilkins • Bowdoin Dept of Theater 

Small Mouth Sounds • Bess Wohl • LaGuardia Arts HS

Lysistrata • Aristophanes • LaGuardia Arts HS

Handscapes • Rising Stars • LaGuardia Arts HS


Gesture Studies

        • Documentary film by Amelia Thompson


New Home

       • Lead Dancer

       • Dir. Niles Singer 

       • Bowdoin College Department of Visual Art

Dancing Science Fiction: The Body as a Site of Future Explorations

       • Bowdoin Dept. of Anthropology

Sunlight Study 

       • Solo Dance Film 

       • Hawthorne-Longfellow Library Ramp Gallery


Permanent Night

       • Actor

       • Dir. Anastassia Kolchanov

       • University of Edinborough 



Neutral Voice

             • New York Live Arts

             • Lobby Installation embodying "Q": the world's first gender neutral AI robot

Let's Get Lost / Listening Glass

             • Bowdoin Museum of Art, Brunswick ME

             • exhibition created by linn meyers, Rebecca Bray, James Bigbee Garver, Josh Knowles

             • Interactive performance featuring dance, visual art, and iPhone technology



Bowdoin College • Brunswick, ME • December 2022

             Bachelor of Arts, Major: Interdisciplinary Performance, Minor: Anthropology

             Sarah and James Bowdoin Scholar

             Excellence in Dance; Outstanding Contribution to T&D; Micoleau Fellowship

Accademia Dell'Arte • Arezzo, Italy • Fall 2022

             Physical Theater Semester Abroad

LaGuardia Arts HS • New York, NY • June 2018

             Department of Drama

             National Honor Society; Alumni & Friends Award; Principal's Certificate for Excellence in Drama

Ellen Robbins Dance Studio: Choreography, modern • NYC

Movement Research: Feldenkrais, Contact Improvisation, Alexander Technique, Klein, Topf

             Media and Communication Intern

             MELT Workshops with Ishmael Houston-Jones and Jimena Paz

Broken Box Mime Theater: Intern
Movement Theater Studio: Lecoq • Richard Crawford • Brooklyn College

American Tap Dance Foundation: Tap • NYC

Eugene O'Neill Young Playwrights Festival: Selected Playwright


Tap, Contact Improvisation, Clowning, Juggling, Mime, Balloon Animals, 2D Animation,

Procreate Design, Stage Management, Basic Technical Theater Crew Training,

Costume Shop sewing / tailoring, linocut printmaking

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