Published Oct 11, 2011Beyoncé's latest music video, "Countdown," premiered just last week, but the mega-famous R&B star is already embroiled in a controversy about the new clip. The source of the singer's problems is Belgian choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, who is accusing Beyoncé of plagiarism.
Speaking with the radio station Studio Brussel [via the New York Times], De Keersmaeker pointed out the similarity between Beyoncé's dance moves and her own pieces "Achterland" (1990) and "Rosas Danst Rosas" (1983).
"I'm not mad, but this is plagiarism. This is stealing," the choreographer said. "It's a bit rude. What's rude about it is that they don't even bother about hiding it."
So how has Beyoncé responded to these claims? Well, she's not denying it.
"Clearly, the ballet 'Rosas Danst Rosas' was one of many references for my video 'Countdown,'" she admitted in a statement. "It was one of the inspirations used to bring the feel and look of the song to life."
She added that she was also inspired by the 1960s, the 1970s, Brigitte Bardot, Andy Warhol, Twiggy, Diana Ross, and Audrey Hepburn's 1957 movie Funny Face. And while we agree with Beyoncé's implication that art cannot be penalized for its inspirations, this seems a bit like the dance equivalent of lifting the riff from "Smoke on the Water" and passing it off as your own.
In a subsequent letter posted on Studio Brussels' website (although the link appears to be no longer active), De Keersmaeker wrote, "Beyoncé is not the worst copycat; she sings and dances very well, and she has a good taste!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."
We'll have to wait an see what those consequences are, and whether Beyoncé will suffer the same fate as Rihanna and is faced with a lawsuit. In the meantime, check out a comparison video below, which has already gotten more than a million views.