Inspiration or plagiarism?

Whoa, heavy blog post title for a Monday morning—I know, but after seeing this video I think you'll be asking yourself the same question.

Beyonce's new song Countdown pays tribute to some of her biggest inspirations, Audrey Hepburn, Twiggy, Andy Warhol and Diana Ross. However, much of the choreography, sets and costumes appear to be lifted directly from legendary contemporary dance choreographer Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker's 1983 work Rosas Danst Rosas.

What do you think?

Personally, I'm leaning towards plagiarism. With all the money, talented people and wealth of resources at her disposal, I really don't understand how or why a 22 second movement phrase from de Keersmaeker's work appears in Beyonce's video. And, why—if you are so moved by the choreographer's extremely popular work, Rosas Danst Rosas—you don't contact her to work on or contribute to your music video.

You can read Anne Teresa's response to the Countdown video here, and Beyonce's here.

Have a great Monday!
xo Bess


  1. As a Belgian girl (Anne is from Belgium)I also think Beyoncé went a little overboard with this one...

  2. Beyoncé was changing a lot in the last years. She seems to be not so innovative compared to new woman pop artists..Although she has a nice voice and she is pretty,but still,sot so creative lately in my opinion.

  3. Wow! I'm appalled at the similarities. I commend Anne for her professional and non-finger pointing response.

  4. Always amazing to me when I see examples like this - Beyonce is, to my mind, quite a brilliant artist and business person. Hard to believe that she can still confuse being "inspired by" something and copying it. The split screen is uncannily exact in so many places that it's hard to deny plagiarism, I think.

  5. So interesting! Should have gotten permission for sure. 'Sampling' music and covering songs is a standard practice in the music industry today, and I find it interesting to think of how movement (and fashion) could be sampled in a similar way. Of course, it follows that similar courtesy should be shown to the artist by getting permission.


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