Last week Beyonce released what could possibly be her best video yet, the hypercolor extravaganza "Countdown." We heard jokes that it looked like it was art directed by Opening Ceremony, then heard the fact that it was actually directed by Tom Petty's daughter. Now, via The New York Times, we're hearing that it may very well be heavily plagiarized. Yesterday, Belgian choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker went on record to say that many of the ideas in the "Countdown" video originate with her works. The above video, by Studio Brussels, has a number of fairly convincing shot-by-shot comparisons of "Countdown" with De Keersmaeker's "Rosas danst Rosas." De Keersmaeker released a statement on Studio Brussels website, saying: "I am glad that 'Rosas danst Rosas' can perhaps reach a mass audience which such a dance performance could never achieve, despite its popularity in the dance world since 1980s. And, Beyonce is not the worst copycat, she sings and dances very well, and she has a good taste! ... What does [the "Countdown" video's re-imagining] say about the work of 'Rosas danst Rosas?' In the 1980s, this was seen as a statement of girl power, based on assuming a feminine stance on sexual expression. I was often asked then if it was feminist. Now that I see Beyonce dancing it, I find it pleasant but I don't see any edge to it. It’s seductive in an entertaining consumerist way." So she seems pretty cool! Petty says that, for her part, she "brought Beyonce a number or references and we picked some out together ... Most were German modern dance references, believe it or not.” Beyonce herself says: “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.” No duh.
October 11, 2011