After “copying” Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s work step for step and frame for frame, Beyonce responded publicly acknowledging she uses other artists’ works as “inspiration” and “borrowing.”
I think that we would all like to believe that Beyonce, herself had no knowledge of the extent that some of her “material” was lifted from other artist but this video is…well…incriminating. She’s basically saying that artist have no idea that she is shaking their hand while someone on her team is stealing their shit! That’s not cool. I have a feeling that if someone stole something of her’s (that she hadn’t already “borrowed” from someone else”) that she would have a legal team on them so quickly it would look like a Superbowl pile-up. What is sad is, artist to artist – the people she is “Borrowing” from are working hard to make a living off of their art. Anne Teresa might not be “Starving” but she works her hustle to not only to make a living but to MAKE HER ART– PAY HER DANCERS, and in this economy it is so difficult for dance companies to book work and stay afloat. I am sure that Beyonce has a budget (for shoes alone) that could rival de Keersmaeker’s any day, why not pay for the use of that information and support another artist, OR maybe HIRE HER TO SET the work and get that information first hand and have a REAL experience with the material and the mind that it came out of instead of a China Town Bootleg version? And going a bit further on that note why is Beyonce paying (probably a handsome) fee to a “creative team” that isn’t really creating but more “Re-Creating”. I must say anyone with a half decent eye can spot quality work, be it live or on YouTube, however (though I hate to say it) they do earn their coins when it comes to the reconstruction, as it was quite flawless. I feel like if it was a Picasso it would take a highly trained specialist with a nondescript accent, mustache and monocle to uncover that the canvas was from 1984.
Personally as a dancer I have seen, and been a part of the struggle that choreographers endure to become, and to survive. When their work is good, even great it’s earning potential is not that large. So I do feel like Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker is due something more than a “thanks for the inspiration” That’s her blood, her sweat, her tears, her soul- it’s her WORK. As an artist (though it would not stand up this way in a court of law) it is about more than intellectual property it’s personal property.
I would also like to believe that Beyonce is not only a better artist than that (she needs to either get a new team or set down some guidelines that require them to come up with an independent original idea) but also that she, as an artist, and a human being has more integrity then this. She has such an opportunity to help other artists grow, or just contribute to them getting higher visibility by calling on them to choreograph a video, or stage part of a show or what ever it is that she’s doing. They could be guided by her team, as working in such arenas and on a large scale might be foreign to some, but it could be good for everyone, especially Beyonce, she would have a first hand experiences with these artist and be able to truly integrate what she learned from them, now that, more or less, is how I was told true artist always steal from the best! As the Mastercard ad would say: “Stealing from an artist- worth a Law suit, working with the artist- Priceless”
I truly hope that she makes this right, to Anne Teresa, and in the future…