Chromosomes are subjected to massive reengineering as they are replicated, transcribed, repaired, condensed, and segregated into daughter cells. Among the engineers are three large protein complexes collectively known as the structural maintenance of chromosome (SMC) complexes: cohesin, condensin, and Smc5/6. As their names suggest, cohesin controls sister chromatid cohesion, condensin controls chromosome condensation, and while precise functions for Smc5/6 have remained somewhat elusive, most reports have focused on the control of recombinational DNA repair. Here, we focus on cohesin and Smc5/6 function. It is becoming increasingly clear that the functional repertoires of these complexes are greater than sister chromatid cohesion and recombination. These SMC complexes are emerging as interrelated and cooperating factors that control chromosome dynamics throughout interphase. However, they also release their embrace of sister chromatids to enable their segregation at anaphase, resetting the dynamic cycle of SMC-chromosome interactions.