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Beyoncé in choreography plagiarism row

The US singer and dancer has been accused of using choreography by a Belgian dancer in the video for her new song, Countdown.

Image: Jennifer Graylock/AP/Press Association Images

A BELGIAN CHOREOGRAPHER has said that her work has been “plundered” by Beyoncé.

Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker said that Beyoncé’s video, Countdown, has many elements that resemble her work in the piece Rosas danst Rosas, including the costumes and movements.

In a statement online, De Keersmaeker said when she saw the video, she was struck by the resemblance “not only with the movements from Rosas danst Rosas, but also with the costumes, the set and even the shots from the film by Thierry De Mey”.

Obviously, Beyoncé, or the video clip director Adria Petty, plundered many bits of the integral scenes in the film, which the videoclip made by Studio Brussel by juxtaposing Beyoncé‘s video and the Rosas danst Rosas film gives a taste of.

She said she is neither angry or honoured, and is 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!

However, she also commented:

there are protocols and consequences to such actions, and I can’t imagine she and her team are not aware of it. To conclude, this event didn’t make me angry, on the contrary, it made me think a few things. Like, why does it take popular culture thirty years to recognize an experimental work of dance?

The choreographer added:

In the 1980s, this was seen as a statement of girl power, based on assuming a feminine stance on sexual expression. I was often asked then if it was feminist. Now that I see Beyoncé dancing it, I find it pleasant but I don’t see any edge to it. It’s seductive in an entertaining consumerist way.

The video clip was co-directed by Adira Petty, who told MTV USA:

I brought Beyoncé a number of references and we picked some out together. Most were German modern-dance references, believe it or not. But it really evolved.

Although Beyoncé released a statement saying she was “inspired” by the piece, De Keersmaeker still believes it has been plagiarised.

Sony has been contacted by lawyers saying the videoclip Countdown cannot be shown without prior approval of Anne Teresa De Kersmaeker and Thierry De Mey.

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