getting interested Copying is Cool?

7th - 9th grade

Copying is Cool?
Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker vs. Beyoncé

30 – 45 minutes


Pop culture and contemporary dance often cross-pollinate, as this example shows. Using this module, you can let pop culture create an inlet to contemporary dance, while your students learn how something new can emerge through the combination of the two fields.


Beyoncé’s music video was released in 2011, but the dance steps featured therein were created 30 years previously by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker. Her plagiarism soon came to light: De Keersmaeker decided to sue and eventually won her lawsuit regarding intellectual property rights. But that wasn’t the end of the matter. De Keersmaeker used Beyoncé’s international fame to make her choreography available to a mass audience on YouTube. The Re:Rosas! The fABULEUS Rosas Remix project was born. Individuals from all around the world submitted their own dance videos in which the movement material from De Keersmaeker was either copied exactly or subjected to creative transformation.


  • Where do you see similarities and differences between Beyoncé’s and De Keersmaeker’s dance styles?
  • Who copied the movements from whom?
  • Do you think it is OK to “steal” movements – and if so, under what conditions?
  • Is there a difference between imitating, stealing and quoting? If so, how would you describe this difference?