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appropriation

Hear From the Choreographer Whose Work Appears in Beyoncé’s ‘Countdown’ Video

Beyoncé's video for "Countdown" has been getting some attention not only for being awesome, but for its similarities to a dance piece by Belgian choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker. In an interview with MTV, Adria Petty, director of "Countdown" and daughter of Tom, said about making the video: "I brought Beyoncé a number of references and we picked some out together. Most were German modern-dance references, believe it or not," suggesting that the video's similarities to De Keersmaeker's work are intentional. De Keersmaeker, however, was never told her choreography would be used in "Countdown" and has written a piece responding to it.

It reads in part:


Like so many people, I was extremely surprised when I got a message through Facebook about the special appearance of my two choreographies in Beyoncé’s new videoclip Countdown... People asked me if I’m angry or honored. Neither, on the one hand, 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, Beyoncé 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.

"Countdown" alludes to many things other than De Keersmaeker's work (most notably Funny Face), but maybe it's time Bey cooled it with the homages to folks who are not that famous — or at least paid them and/or asked for their permission before sampling their work. Who would say no to Beyoncé? And then instead of "stealing," she could just be remixing.

Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker Responds to Beyoncé Video [Performance Club]