Guest Q&A: Davey Dance Blog

Posted by The Murketing Organization on February 11, 2008
Posted Under: Guest Contributor,Q&A

[As noted earlier, today brings you the first guest Q&A, suggested and conducted by Ada Puiu, a senior at the Schulich School of Business at York University in Toronto. Take it away, Ada…. ]

I was introduced to the Davey Dance Blog by a friend, last spring. A 27 year-old Minnesota native, David Fishel came up with an idea involving a basic formula: historical monument, Canon Powershot, and an improved dance to a pop song. His first video was posted last March — leaning tower of Pisa to the Beatles’ classic “Don’t Let Me Down” — and 43 entries later, his dance blog has gained quite a following. (It sure spread like wildfire for a while among friends of mine). His most popular YouTube posts have topped 10,000 views. He also posts on Vimeo, and of course his own site, He’s been featured on a France 2 Channel program dealing with Internet celebrity, as well as in the New York Metro. And he’s even started spawning fan videos!

Personally, I love that he does what me and my friends have always wanted to do – dance our hearts out to our favorite songs, in public. Plus, I tend to really dig his music choices. So while there’s no real message behind the videos (short of some tonge-in-cheek song selections), I keep checking his site because it’s amusing and fun and funny — and pretty brave. So I was curious to find out more about him and why he does this. — Ada Puiu

Q: What do you hope people take away from your videos? More importantly, what do you take away from not just doing them, but making them public?

I really don’t have a defined message or purpose with the project. But I think people have responded to the images of a guy simply having fun in public, which is great. They can see that I surely do not have any kind of formal dancing skills, but I think that certain moments of emotion translate through the movements. I guess the most I can hope people take away from the project is a smile.

For me, the reactions from people are the most rewarding, both the Internet comments and also seeing how people at the locations cope with a man dancing to music on his headphones. I am drawn to the fact that the people who see me dancing live have no idea what sound (if any) I am moving to, and then occasionally their reactions are captured in the video, which is displayed synced to the music for an entirely different audience. The implementation of a performance and the documentation operate almost as separate works in the way. I guess I like that.

Q: In some of your videos, there’s an interesting sense of irony with your song selections (like “Milkshake” at Harvard Yard; link here). How do you decide where to film and how do you pick the songs?
The songs and the locations always have some sort of correlation, some more direct than others (ie. “Cold War Kids” at the Berlin Wall, “Immigrant Song” at Plymouth Rock). There are also a few songs that relate more to a situation than the place. My favorite dance blogs usually have a correlation that require a bit of work on the part of the viewer.

Q: I noticed that in more recent entries – like in Times Square (link)– you managed to recruit others. Were these people friends? What’s been the response from friends, family, and fans?

Yes, usually the back-up dancers are friends who are listening to the same song as I am. In a couple of the videos such as Barcelona and Times Square, a couple of strangers have joined in on the fun for a short bit of the song. I really love the idea that movement can be that infectious, especially since they cannot hear the music.

When I was living abroad, the project began almost as a video postcard project. My family seems to like them, so much so that they even joined me in a recent video back in Madison, WI (including my grandfather and my nine-month-pregnant sister!)

Q: What are the next steps with the blog?

My current goal is to have made 52 dance blogs by the end of March just to make it an average of one dance a week for a year. There are a couple other people doing similar cool projects who I have been in touch with recently and it would be nice to pursue some sort of joint venture. Other than that, I don’t have any lofty goals for DaveyDanceBlog. I suppose I will continue it until I get tired, injured, or bored.

Q: I think the coolest part of the whole idea is that you have the guts do something in public that’s usually done with a hairbrush in front of a mirror in the privacy of your room. And this often leads to some pretty funny reactions from passersby. Do you have any particularly funny stories from your recording sessions?

My friends who recorded the Notre Dame piece said that by the end of the song, ALL of the tourists there had redirected their attention toward my dancing and no one was looking at the building. (This sounds like a bit of hyperbole to me, but it is true that a large tour group of Americans began taking pictures of me instead of the Notre Dame for a short time)

Q: Finally – who are your dance inspirations?

Probably 70 percent of my moves are stolen from Bugs Bunny cartoons I used to watch when I was a kid. But really, I love the art of dance. I love Parsons (Dance Company), (George) Balanchine, (Martha) Graham, and (Merce) Cunningham. I really enjoy experimental and site-specific dance performances. Some of my favorites in NYC have come from Jill Sigman/Thinkdance and Andrea Haenggi. I have never studied dance, but it is something I have a considerable interest in. I suppose you could call me a hobbyist… or a disgrace.

Murketing thanks Ada Puiu, and David Fishel, whose dance blog can be found here.

Further diversion may be found at MKTG Tumblr, and the Consumed Facebook page.

Reader Comments

I had never heard of this. It cracked me up. I briefly lived in Madison, Wisconsin during the 90’s, so seeing the Madison videos made it extra special for me.

Written By Ingrid on February 11th, 2008 @ 6:58 pm

Hey Ingrid — Glad to hear this, thank you v much./..

Written By murketing on February 12th, 2008 @ 6:43 pm