In the 30 years since the discovery of the nucleosome, our picture of it has come into sharp focus. The recent high-resolution structures have provided a wealth of insight into the function of the nucleosome, but they are inherently static. Our current knowledge of how nucleosomes can be reconfigured dynamically is at a much earlier stage. Here, recent advances in the understanding of chromatin structure and dynamics are highlighted. The ways in which different modes of nucleosome reconfiguration are likely to influence each other are discussed, and some of the factors likely to regulate the dynamic properties of nucleosomes are considered.