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.