Beyonce accused of ripping off modern-dance pioneer
Singer's moves remarkably similar to those of Belgian Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker (with video)
A BELGIAN choreographer has accused Beyonce of ripping off her moves in the video for the R'n'B singer's new single Countdown. Footage showing remarkable similarities between the two sets of steps has been posted on YouTube.
Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, one of the most respected figures in the European modern dance scene, described the video as "plagiarism".
Beyonce's latest single came out last week and in the video she is seen singing in a derelict building with three other dancers performing ballet-like moves in the background. That part of the video is uncannily similar to a piece by De Keersmaeker's dance company called Rosas Danst Rosas. It made its debut in 1983 but is still being performed. The piece had a run at Sadlers Wells in 2009.
Other moves in the video appear to be similar to those dreamt up by De Keersmaeker for her production Achterland, which won a Dance Screen award in 1994.
Although De Keersmaeker claimed she was not angry about the alleged plagiarism, she didn't appear very happy either. "I didn't know anything about this," she told a Danish blog. "This is stealing. What's rude about it is that they don't even bother about hiding it. They seem to think they could do it because it's a famous work."
Asked if she was perhaps proud that Beyonce was copying her moves, she responded: "Am I honoured? Look, I've seen local school kids doing this. That's a lot more beautiful."
Beyonce has yet to comment on the accusations, but the singer's co-director has admitted that the pair had been inspired by European choreography. She told MTV News that the video contained "German modern dance references, believe it or not". She described the process was "evolving [and] spontaneous".
However, Beyonce, who is expecting her first child with husband Jay Z, is no stranger to accusations of plagiarism. The iconic video for Beyonce's Single Ladies turned out to have been influenced by a sequence in a Bob Fosse musical and earlier this year she admitted being "inspired" by pop singer Lorella Cuccarini after the similiarities between her performance at the Billboard Music Awards and one by the Italian artist were pointed out. ·
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