Merce Cunningham Trust

Deli Commedia 1984


LENGTH 18 minutes
DIRECTOR Elliot Caplan and Merce Cunnningham
DESIGNERS Dove Bradshaw
PRODUCER Cunningham Dance Foundation
DISTRIBUTOR Alexander Street Press
COLOR/BW Color
MUSIC I Can't Go On To The Next Thing, Till I Find Out More About You, Patricia Richter
MUSICIANS Patricia Richter
DANCERS Kristy Santimyer, Carol Teitelbaum, Bill Young, Frey Faust, Brenda Daniels
"Deli Commedia" was conceived as a slapstick comedy, Cunningham's nod to the improvised farces of the 18th Century commedia del'arte. The music, like the action, is a throwback to silent film days when actors 'danced' their story line and exaggerated conveying emotion, the piano all the while providing dramatic emphasis. Comic kinetic jokes, cakewalking, tango, lindy hop, imaginative juxtaposition of bodies, props, and special effects are enhanced by aural image of old-time player piano. Filmed at the Merce Cunningham Studio, Westbeth, New York, NY. In the film, Merce Cunningham strove to create the sense of different spaces or scenes within the Cunningham Studio and incorporated various possibilities presented by its physical layout into the development of the choreography. Finalist, American Film Festival.