When Beyoncé plagiarized the choreography of the Brussels dance troupe Rosas

Yes: Beyoncé plagiarized the work of a black-yellow-red artist without permission. It was Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, founder of the Rosas dance company, an authority on contemporary dance but less known to the general public, who during an interview with the Dutch-language radio Studio Brussel launches hostilities. At the beginning of October 2011, she declared: “I am not crazy. It’s plagiarism. This is theft“, specifying that Beyonce also drew ideas in his show “Achterland” (1990).

They don’t even hide it

It’s hard to take“, adds the choreographer trained in Brussels. “What’s even harder is that they don’t even hide it.” They? Beyoncé and the director of the “Countdown” clip Adria Petty, who has already worked with the former leader of Destiny’s Child. Studio Brussel uploads a video comparing the two creations: there is no photo!

De Keersmaeker continues in an open letter: “What Beyoncé did isn’t the worst impersonation. EShe sings and dances very well, and she has good taste! Nonetheless, there are protocols and consequences to such actions, and I can’t imagine she and her team aren’t aware of them. […] In the 1980s, this (Editor’s note: the show ‘Rosas danse Rosas’) was seen as a statement of girl power, based on taking a feminine stance on sexual expression. I have often been asked if it was feminist. Now that I see Beyoncé dancing it, I find it enjoyable but I don’t see any advantage in it. It’s seductive in an entertaining consumerist way.

Two opposite directions but a common point all the same. Beyoncé is pregnant (with her daughter Blue Ivy) when she turns and dances on “Countdown” as De Keersmaeker was for Rosas in 1983.

Either way, the bomb is dropped. The American singer is summoned to react: the case is already front page of the Belgian and Anglo-Saxon media. A press release comes out. Beyoncé admits thatclearly, the ballet ‘Rosas danse Rosas’ was one of the many references in my clip ‘Countdown'”.

Nevertheless, she adds,I also paid tribute to the movie ‘Funny Face’ with the legendary Audrey Hepburn. My main inspirations were the 60s and 70s, Brigitte Bardot, Andy Warhol, Twiggy and Diana Ross”.

I hope the fans will see all the tributes

Does this excuse the plagiarism of a work without having requested prior authorization? For Beyoncé, maybe. The clip has already been seen by almost two million people and I hope fans will see all the tributes and then discover Audrey Hepburn, Warhol, Bardot, ‘Rosas danse Rosas’ and everything that inspired me.” Understand: I offered international exposure and free publicity to De Keersmaeker, what is she complaining about? “I have always been fascinated by the way contemporary art uses different elements and references to design something unique”says Beyonce again.

Adria Petty, the director, continues : “I suggested Beyoncé a series of references and we chose from those. Most were German dance moves, believe me or not.

For Anne Teresa de Keermaeker, nothing in this press release satisfies her. No way to stand idly by. We need a reaction of a legal nature after the media reaction. “Through our lawyer, contact was made with Beyoncé’s management. The singer has already responded to the press, but not yet to us. We are waiting for his response to file a complaint or not for plagiarism“, says Johanne de Bie, spokesperson for Roses.

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