Did Beyonce Rip-Off Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s Choreography?

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.

Beyonce v. Lorella Cuccarini — Inspiration or Ripping Off?

My mother used to say that copying is the greatest form of flattery. Then I’d tell my mother she’s ridiculous. I’m not one of those people who enjoys when others copy my work. In fact, you probably don’t want to be on the other end of that accusation. It isn’t pretty. So when Beyonce was accused of copying Lorella Cuccarini’s 2010 performance during the Billboard Music Awards, she insisted that she was merely inspired by it, and didn’t directly copy it. Hey, at least she admitted to having seen the performance. Most artists would dismiss it as a strange coincidence. Lorella’s performance is so original, it’s only fair to say that Beyonce liked the idea and took it on as her own. So does it matter? If I were Lorella, it would infuriate me, especially since no credit was given to her idea during the performance. She only admitted to the similarity after the copy-cat accusations surfaced. Watch below and judge for yourself.
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