Beyonce Accused of Plagiarism in New Video

Beyonce in the video for "Countdown" (Columbia Records)

If there were any doubt as to Beyonce’s status as Supreme World Diva, the recent barrage of pseudo-scandals is certainly cementing the deal. The more famous you get, the more people are gunning for you.

On the heels of BumpGate 2011 come accusations of plagiarism centering on the new video for Beyonce’s song “Countdown,” in which Queen B goes mod while flaunting her now indisputable baby bump.

Earlier this week, famed Belgian choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker took to the radio in Antwerp to air out claims that Team Beyonce lifted several parts of the video’s dance routines from her own work.

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“I didn’t know anything about this. I’m not mad, but this is plagiarism,” De Keersmaeker told Studio Brussel. “This is stealing.”

De Keersmaeker specifically cited two of her pieces, “Achterland” from 1990 and “Rosas danst Rosas” from 1983, which share not only dance moves with the “Countdown” video, but costumes, scenery and even a few framed shots from a movie made of De Keersmaeker’s work.

“It’s a bit rude,” De Keersmaeker said. “What’s rude about it is that they don’t even bother about hiding it.”

The incendiary comments prompted Beyonce to issue a statement of her own, in which she shot back, “Clearly, the ballet ‘Rosas danst Rosas’ was one of many references for my video ‘Countdown.’ It was one of the inspirations used to bring the feel and look of the song to life.”

Or, to paraphrase: “Yeah, so?”

“I was also paying tribute to the film, ‘Funny Face’ with the legendary Audrey Hepburn,” Beyonce continued. “My biggest inspirations were the ’60s, the ’70s, Brigitte Bardot, Andy Warhol, Twiggy and Diana Ross. I’ve always been fascinated by the way contemporary art uses different elements and references to produce something unique.”

Seemingly unsatisfied, De Keersmaeker also posted a letter to the radio station’s website, writing, “Beyonce 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.”

For better or worse, this isn’t the first time Beyonce’s had to deal with accusations of plagiarism when it comes to her dance moves. Earlier this year, parts of her celebrated performance of “Run the World (Girls)” at the Billboard Music Awards appeared to be lifted from a routine by Lorella Cuccarini. Beyonce later acknowledged that Cuccarini had indeed inspired her.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.


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