Ed Di Lello

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Ed Di Lello (born 1952) is a former American composer, choreographer, director, dancer, and actor who worked in the United States during the 1970s and 1980s. He was born in New York City to Vincent and Angela (née Salvatore). He received a bachelor's degree from Sarah Lawrence College in 1974. He is currently a Vice President at JP Morgan Chase Bank.

Early Work[edit]

In 1967-1970 Di Lello studied and performed with the Everyman Company and the Chalk Circle Players in Brooklyn, NY, under the tutelage of actress Geraldine Fitzgerald [1] and Bro. Jonathan Ringkamp.[2] In February 1970, the Chalk Circle Players premiered Pieces, a “collage theater” work composed of segments, in which Di Lello wrote, directed and choreographed Mommy/Daddy, played the title role in St. Francis, and composed and performed the songs Pieces, Runnin' Away, Tickle My Soul and Hey Who Are You?.[3]

From 1971 to 1973 Di Lello was a member of the La Mama ETC company, under the direction of Wilford Leach and John Braswel,[4] in which he performed featured roles in Demon (The Damask Drum) and Carmilla. In May 1972 Di Lello directed a production of Next by Terrence McNally which featured Alan Blumenfeld and Gina Barnett.[5]


Di Lello composed, orchestrated, conducted and staged two operas that he adapted from plays by W. B. YeatsPurgatory and The Cat and the Moon. This double bill was produced by Philip Meister and Maurice Edwards at The Cubiculo in New York City and had its premiere in March 1974. An unreleased recording of Purgatory is found in the Billy Rose Collection of the New York Public Library.[6] In various productions of these operas, Di Lello conducted, sang the Voice of the Old Man in Purgatory and sang and danced the role of the Lame Beggar in The Cat and the Moon. A television version of Purgatory was featured on University Broadcast Lab on WNYC-TV in 1974.

Di Lello's Ann Garner was premiered in 1978 at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. This chamber cantata — a setting of the long poem by James Agee — was conducted by Chester Biscardi at various performances in 1978-79. Ann Garner was notable for its mixture of tonal harmony and structured noise, as well as simultaneous combinations of spoken and sung poetry.

The Peaches Series[edit]

From 1975 through 1977 Di Lello created four related works: Peaches' Lament, Peaches' Beacon, Peaches' Perplex and Peaches Melisma, all of which came out of Di Lello's teaching at the Dance Center of the Harvard Summer School. In these dance/music works, Di Lello developed his unique focus on performance by dancer/musicians – performers trained as dancers and musicians. Peaches' Lament was a 15-minute work for four dancer/musicians who danced together and alone, in silence and to music they made themselves on four keyboards.

In the January 1979 issue of Dance Magazine, Amanda Smith wrote that the music and choreography of Peaches' Melisma created a “slightly eerie limbo” through which the work slowly emerged. Peaches' Beacon (1976) was a one-hour work for large ensemble on themes of being lost, communication in unknown realms, rescue and codes. All of the vocal, piano and percussion music was performed by the cast of 18 dancer/actor/musicians.

Ed Di Lello Group[edit]

Based in New York City, the Ed Di Lello Group existed from 1978 through 1982, performing at various downtown performance spaces, at the American Dance Festival, Jacob's Pillow and Wesleyan University. Members of the Group included Carol Hansen, Sheri Alley, Ron Lybeck, Donald Joyce, Paul Di Lello, Rebecca Perrin, Jane Desmond, Rob Kaplan, Arkady Koffman, Ricardo Mendez, Louise Rogers, Nusha Martynuk and Patricia Graf. Di Lello's work for the Group included:

  • Octoman (1979)
  • Six Rhythmic Solos (1979)
  • Truly Foolish Move (1980)
  • If You've Got the Gun We've Got the Room (1980)
  • After Octoman (1981)
  • The Music and the Arms and the Legs (1982)

In 1982 Di Lello was invited to join Dance Theater Workshop's Advanced Choreography Workshop led by renowned teacher Bessie Schonberg . There he developed The Music and the Arms and the Legs for four dancer/musicians and two keyboardists.


In 1983–84 Di Lello collaborated, as composer, with lyricist/writer Nan Knighton and director Matthew Diamond on Lullabye, a musical. For a brief period in 1985–86 Di Lello was a member of the rock bank Pride of Lions, with singer/guitarist Chris Gavin [7][8]


Di Lello has two daughters, Daria E. Di Lello, a post-apocalyptic feminist photographer [9][10] and Chiara Di Lello, a museum educator.[11][12]


  1. ^ Geraldine Fitzgerald on IMDb
  2. ^ Jonathan Ringkamp on IMDb
  3. ^ Columbia U. library
  4. ^ NY Times obit. February 17, 1989 John Braswel
  5. ^ EST website Gina Barnett
  6. ^ Billy Rose Collection of the New York Public Library (William Elliott collection, at pg. 19
  7. ^ Beatlemania casts
  8. ^ Beatlemania alumni
  9. ^ Ed Di Lello on IMDb
  10. ^ Official website Daria E. Di Lello
  11. ^ Good Reads Chiara Di Lello
  12. ^ Good Reads Annotations: After R.W. and Ephemera