Day 99: Dance Rights

A little over a year ago, German choreographer Anna Teresa De Keersmaeker told a Danish blog that she had not been asked permission for her choreography to appear in Beyonce’s new Countdown video. The controversy unearthed a great discussion about dance art and who owns the rights to it. Once a movement is out in the world, can anyone use it, reframe it and call it their own? What if the original costumes and setting are used for “inspiration” as well? How far is too far?

Dance is a little harder to pin down than music, which has more rules and regulations about what constitutes plagiarism.

Whether Beyonce’s choreography team was right to appropriate the work or not, I’d like to share the video of the works side by side. At the very least, I think it’s wonderful to see brilliant modern dance make its way through pop culture channels.