Dance Monkeys Dance

One of my highlights of being in Beijing this past semester was due to an unique opportunity to help fellow Fulbrighter and professional Chinese comedic culture nerd Jesse Appell. Jesse’s Fulbright project to study the Chinese traditional comedic art form of 快板 (speed-rapping, I kid you not, it’s like Chinese slam poetry, but focused mostly on humor instead of societal woes). For an example, see here: 

As a side project, Jesse decided to make a parody of Gangnam Style, which he called 老外Style (Foreigner Style). Back in October, we ran around Beijing and in one-day filmed a video to go with Jesse’s lyrics, and it soon became a viral sensation, obtaining over 1 million views on YouTube and YouKu (China’s YouTube) combined. Here’s the video: 

Before we knew it, we were all invited to do perform Jesse’s Laowai style on Beijing TV station for their national Dance/Singing competition to find performers for China’s annual national Spring Festival celebration. And like good little performing monkeys, we did it. For a BTV Good Morning Beijing news special about the show, see HERE

The actual showing of our performance will be on BTV this Sunday, December 16th, at 8:30 pm. Stay tuned 🙂

Finally, our IUP classmate Minami wrote a great article for Tea Leaf Nation discussing the censorship issues Jesse faced throughout the BTV process. Read it HERE.

Despite the bait-n-switch nature of “they sing! they dance!” foreigner performance troupe in China, this Dancing Monkey was happy to perform for her Bananas.

And further down the strange rabbit-hole that is China we go…..


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