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Beyoncé video accused of plagiarism

By Naomi Brand

Pop star Beyoncé Knowles’ new video Countdown has raised some controversy over its striking similarity to the work of Belgian choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and has been accused of plagiarism. The video allegedly borrows from two of De Keersmaeker’s videos: Achterland (1990) and Rosas danst Rosas (1983). Beyoncé’s video shares not only some very similar dance movement with Rosas danst Rosas, but also bears similarities in the set, costumes and even some specific shots, which are almost direct copies of the film made by Thierry De Mey. In an interview with a Belgian radio station, De Keersmaeker said, “I’m not mad, but this is plagiarism. This is stealing.” In response to these comments, Beyoncé released a statement saying: “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.” De Keersmaeker’s work has made a major mark on contemporary dance over her thirty-year career and has received critical acclaim and international success.

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