When Beyonce’s “Countdown” video dropped, we knew she was paying homage to Audrey Hepburn, Diana Ross, Jennifer Beals and more with her beatnik dance moves, Supremes-style clothing and Flashdance-inspired auditions. However, it seems she was copying one person’s style too closely.
And that’s Belgian choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker. The split-screen scene where Beyonce dramatically tugs at her clothes and hair (on the left) while three dancers rehearse (on the right) was taken from (or inspired by, depending on how you look at it) Keersmaeker’s work. As well as a later scene, in which Bey dances in an all-black outfit.
Granted, the video’s director, Adria Petty, did admit to MTV: “I brought Beyonce a number of references and we picked some out together. Most were German modern-dance references, believe it or not. But it really evolved.”
However, these similarities seem too close for comfort according to Keersmaeker, who told a Danish blog: “I didn’t know anything about this. I’m not mad, but this is plagiarism. This is stealing. They took pieces from Achterland and Rosas danst Rosas. It’s a bit rude, I must say. 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. Am I honored? Look, I’ve seen local school kids doing this. That’s a lot more beautiful.”
(P.S. This isn’t the first time this has happened: Beyonce Accused Of Copying Italian Entertainer For Billboard Performance [VIDEO])