Beyonce sure gets accused of plagiarism a lot. The latest exercise of finger-pointing involves Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, who accused Beyonce of ripping off her ‘Rosas danst Rosas’ and ‘Achterland’ choreography for Beyonce’s ‘Countdown’ video. I’ve watched the comparisons, and it’s alarmingly similar. When addressing the controversy, the famed choreographer said:
I’m not mad, but this is plagiarism. 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. When I saw the actual video, I was struck by the resemblance of Beyonce’s clip not only with the movements from Rosas danst Rosas but also with the costumes, the set and even the shots from the film by Thierry De Mey. There are protocols and consequences to such actions, and I can’t imagine she and her team are not aware of it.
I’d give Beyonce the benefit of the doubt, but this is a consistent accusation. Her performance at the 2010 Billboard Music Awards, for example, was a blatant rip-off of a Lorella Cuccarini performance. She avoided responsibility by saying she discovered Cuccarini from YouTube and she was “inspired.” And lets not forget that her very famous ‘Single Ladies’ choreography was “inspired” by Bob Fosse’s ‘Mexican Breakfast‘ routine. There’s a fine line between inspiration and plagiarism. Watch the clip below to see the similarity.
The $100 million show premiered September 25, 2011, at the Kodak Theater, and it’s the only non-traveling Cirque du Soleil show, which means that the performers not only have to love Los Angeles, but they also have to love the theater, because the entire show is built around it.
Speaking of the performers, Andrew and Kevin Atherton (the aerial straps duo) kindly answered questions after the show, which painfully included ridiculous inquiries from other journalists such as, “are you scared you might die up there?” Unfazed and classy, the brothers professed that fear is important for safety, but they “trust each other with their lives,” and they are “living a dream.”
One of most enjoyable parts of the show was the music, composed by the legendary Danny Elfman. Unlike Elfman’s familiar film medium, ‘Iris’ constantly evolved, so he was forced to change the music until all the elements were complete. Had I shut my eyes for the entirety of the show and just listened the music, I would have still been satisfied.
The second act was substantially better than the first, because it had the appropriate amount of light and shade. My favorite performance was the hand balancing, beautifully executed by Olga Pikhienko. It was understated and impressive, and it was one of the only acts where I felt personally connected to the performance.
Las Vegas has some new competition. For tourists visiting Los Angeles in need of some entertainment, this will exceed their expectations. With the combination of acrobats, costumes, and music, there’s no going wrong.