[SitM: we had no idea there was such a thing as plagiarism in dance routines]
To Beyonce, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. To others, she’s plain ripping other artists off.
In her new music video for “Countdown,” the singer has acknowledged she pays homage to Audrey Hepburn’s character in “Funny Face” with her all-black clothing, mod hairstyle and beatnik dance moves.
But there’s one part of the video she hasn’t yet copped to “borrowing.”
A debate has sparked online that Beyonce blatantly ripped off Belgian choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker in a strange scene in which Beyonce stands in front of a window pane and tears at her clothes as her dancers move listlessly behind her.
One fan even went as far as to create a clip that shows the scene in “Countdown” is identical to one by De Keersmaeker.
And it’s supposed to be, claims Beyonce — but she waited until everyone else noticed to say anything.
“Clearly, the ballet ‘Rosas danst Rosas’ was one of many references for my video ‘Countdown,'” she now says. “It was one of the inspirations used to bring the feel and look of the song to life.”
But before her acknowledgment, the video’s co-director Adria Petty was vague when asked. “I brought Beyoncé a number of references and we picked some out together,” she told MTV News. “Most were German modern-dance references, believe it or not. But it really evolved.”
But De Keersmaeker hardly thought it was an “evolved” bit of choreography. “Obviously, Beyoncé, or the video clip director Adria Petty, plundered many bits of the integral scenes in the film,” she said in a response to The Performance Club.
“People asked me if I’m angry or honored. Neither, on the one hand, I am glad that ‘Rosas danst Rosas’ can perhaps reach a mass audience which such a dance performance could never achieve, despite its popularity in the dance world since 1980s. And, Beyoncé is not the worst copycat, she sings and dances very well, and she has a good taste! On the other hand, there are protocols and consequences to such actions.”
The “Countdown” video marks the second time in a matter of months that Beyonce has been accused of stealing someone else’s routine.
At the Billboard Music Awards in May, her performance of “Run the World (Girls)” caught flack because her usage of digital “Beyonces” projected on a screen behind her was exactly the same as Italian pop star Lorella Cuccarini.
Beyonce later admitted her makeup artist had shown her a video of Cuccarini’s performance and “it inspired me so much.”
“I then met with the talented people who worked on it,” she told AOL Music. “The technology and concept were so genius. Thank God for YouTube or I would have never been exposed to something so inspiring.”
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