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Beyoncé’s “Countdown” Controversy: Choreographer Accuses Her of Stealing Moves

Submitted by on October 12, 2011 – 9:29 am2 Comments
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Beyoncé is often considered to be the cat’s meow for her innovative dance moves, cutting edge videos and fresh lyrics but one choreographer is accusing the pop diva of being a straight up copycat.

Days after the 30-year-old singer debuted the video for the latest single, “Countdown” off her album 4, Belgian choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker went public calling some scenes a straight rip off of her 1983 piece Rosas danst Rosas.

“People asked me if I’m angry or honored,” Anne said in a statement. “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 the 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, and I can’t imagine she and her team are not aware of it.”

In the video below, “Countdown” is played alongside a clip from Rosas danst Rosas and the two are strikingly similar. Beyoncé argues she was simply paying homage to a dance that inspired her. “Clearly, the ballet Rosas danst Rosas was one of many references for my video ‘Countdown.’ It was one of the inspirations used to bring the feel and look of the song to life. I was also paying tribute to the film, Funny Face with the legendary Audrey Hepburn. My biggest inspirations were the ’60s, the ’70s, Brigitte Bardot, Andy Warhol, Twiggy and Diana Ross. “I’ve always been fascinated by the way contemporary art uses different elements and references to produce something unique.”

Beyoncé may have a different definition for the word “unique,” but she should be celebrated for paying homage to past icons instead of being attacked by them. Watch the two pieces side-by-side below. Should Beyoncé apologize for using Anne’s choreography without her “permission,” and more importantly, can dance moves be copyrighted? (Just imagine what would happen if you had to pay Michael Jackson‘s camp every time you did the Moon Walk.)

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