After the Internet threw Beyoncé a baby shower less than two months ago, the tides are beginning to change with critics speaking out against both her professional and personal achievements. Bey’s “Countdown” video is full of pop culture allusions—both intentional and not—making it ripe with Halloween costume ideas. But aside from the opening riff on Audrey Hepburn’s role in Funny Face a large portion of the video’s choreography has come under scrutiny since Thursday’s premiere, with accusations that Bey may have used moves from Belgian choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s “Rosas danst rosas,” without her knowledge. Below, a response from the choreographer:
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 video clip “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.
Beyoncé’s search for unique choreography, and the subsequent plagiarism allegations, have been well documented in recent months. She was inspired by the Mozambique dance troupe Tofo Tofo for her “Run The World (Girls)” video, and consulted their performances before the shoot, as seen in the “Year of 4” documentary. But she’s been silent about the inspiration for “Countdown” thus far. “I brought Beyoncé a number of references and we picked some out together. Most were German modern-dance references, believe it or not. But it really evolved,” said the video’s director Adria Petty. So either she and Petty have their European geography mixed up, or B owes De Keersmaeker a shout-out, a check and maybe a trip on the yacht with Jay once the baby arrives.
Speaking of which, even less substantiated accusations are now being directed towards her growing family, stemming from a recent Australian television interview. After Beyoncé appeared on Australia’s Sunday Night Show, where it was revealed she’ll give birth in February, blogs began suggesting that her pregnancy is fake all because of some strange angles captured on camera and unruly dress material. As she enters into view for her sit-down interview at 0:52, her dress clearly rides up and “folds” over her belly, suggesting her bump isn’t actually that large, although it looks more like she was nervous about flashing the camera and studio audience rather than keeping a prosthetic in place. Still, haters gonna hate—and formulate elaborate conspiracy theories. “It’s very possible that a baby is on the way, but a surrogate is carrying the child. She didn’t want to lose her figure and Jay Z wanted a baby so she agreed to try and pull off this scam in order to manipulate the public while protecting her image,” wrote one fan. At least some have a sense of humor about the whole thing: “I don’t know… sometimes when I stand I have a post baby bump which turns into a muffin top when I sit… maybe a dingo ate her baby?”
Are we preparing for Babygate 2012? Decide for yourself by watching below.