LOS ANGELES (AFP) ― U.S. singing superstar Beyonce acknowledged Tuesday that her latest video was inspired by the work of a Belgian choreographer who has threatened to sue for plagiarism.
But the singer said her “Countdown” video had other influences, and noted that it had already been viewed by 2 million people and could generate publicity for the Belgian work “Rosas danst Rosas” or “Rosas dances Rosas.”
Choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker has accused Beyonce of stealing routines for her “Countdown,” calling it “pure plagiarism,” Belgian dance troupe Rosas said Monday.
On Tuesday Beyonce issued 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.”
But she added: “I was also paying tribute to the film, ‘Funny Face’ with the legendary Audrey Hepburn. My biggest inspirations were the ‘60s, the ‘70s, Brigitte Bardot, Andy Warhol, Twiggy and Diana Ross.”
Adria Petty, the co-director of her video, showed Beyonce the contemporary ballet from almost 30 years ago, she added in the statement issued by her publicist.
“It was refreshing, interesting and timeless. I’ve always been fascinated by the way contemporary art uses different elements and references to produce something unique.
“The video already has close to two million views so hopefully the fans will look at all the tributes and then discover Audrey Hepburn, Warhol, Bardot, ‘Rosas danst Rosas’ and all the works that inspired me and shaped this video.”
There was no immediate reaction from the Belgian dance troupe, but Rosas spokeswoman Johanne De Bie said Monday that they had discovered the Beyonce clip on Friday.
“We noticed more than a few resemblances to the film that director Thierry De Mey made in 1997, ‘Rosas dances Rosas,’... and 1994’s ‘Achterland’ .. We have passed the details to our lawyer to see about our rights,” she told AFP.
The decor, a warehouse dance studio, plus the clothing and the dance moves in the video bear a striking resemblance to the filmed choreography “Rosas dance Rosas,” as a comparative clip on YouTube entitled “Beyonce vs. Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker” clearly shows.
“I was never contacted, this is pure plagiarism,” the Belgian choreographer told Flemish radio.