On Saturday, we reported that Beyoncé had been accused of plagiarizing the choreography featured in her recent video for ‘Countdown.’ Now the choreographer behind the original dance steps has spoken up about the allegations.
Belgian choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker responded to the video in a statement to The Performance Club:
Like so many people, I was extremely surprised when I got a message through Facebook about the special appearance of my two choreographies – Rosas danstRosas (1983) and Achterland (1990) in Beyoncé’s new videoclip ‘Countdown.’ Obviously, Beyonce, or the video clip director Adria Petty, plundered many bits of the integral scenes in the film.
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, and I can’t imagine she and her team are not aware of it.
‘Countdown’ choreographer Adria Petty told MTV News that the video was not meant to copy. They had intended to pay homage to many icons:
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.
Choreography is the composition and arrangement of dance movements and patterns usually intended to be accompanied by music… To be protected by copyright, pantomimes and choreography need not tell a story or be presented before an audience.
Although De Keersmaeker may be within her rights to file a lawsuit, it doesn’t sound like she has any intentions of doing so.
Do you think De Keersmaeker reacted in the right way or should she be filing a lawsuit?