Beyoncé’s no stranger to the world of accusations, but that’s to be expected when all eyes are closely fixated on your work, and that work is the result of incredibly dense collaboration. Her last LP Lemonade racks up more than 40 total contributors with the track, “Hold Up,” rounding in an impressive 17 credits; she’s also garnered criticism over the album’s visuals, as one clip, Film Fidelity, shows side-by-side comparisons to everyone from Pipilotti Rist to David Lynch. Though Yoncé’s talent is undeniable, her transparency seems to always be up for debate.
This week, a choreographer took to Instagram to call out Beyoncé for stealing “exact concepts and choreography” for her Formation world tour. Marlyn Ortiz, who’s toured with Madonna and danced in shows with theatrical troupe Fuerza Bruta, claims the singer’s stomp routine was lifted from a successful off broadway production called, De La Guarda. “I’m sorry I don’t bash artist,” she wrote. “But I respect fellow creative artist […] It’s ok to be inspired, but at least make the effort to make it your own.”
I’m sorry I don’t bash artist! But I respect fellow creative artist…and don’t like to use social media to promote some thing that can be perceived as negativity… BUT beyonce you have the nerve to steal exact concepts n choreography from other real creative genius.. You stole from @breakingsurface you stole the stomping from #delaguarda @fuerzabrutanyc it’s ok to be inspired but at least make the effort to make it your own.. Also @crazyhorseparis_official the saddle scene!! Let’s keep it real people!!! #hideyourideas #hideyoureightcount #hideyourwater #hideallfrombeyonce #respectartist #breakingsurface #fuerzabrutanyc #delaguarda @gwynethlarsen @wmulholland AND PROPS TO MY FRIENDS THAT DID THE AERIAL!! Thanks @craigsmithnyc for the edit! Loll
Beginning around the 5:00 mark, you can see the choreography in question, as dancers, drenched in rainwater, all stomp and shout in a similar manner to Beyoncé. From movement to production, the comparisons raised by Ortiz are certainly strong.
This isn’t the first time her choreography has been in question, coming uncomfortably close to works before it. Beyoncé’s “Countdown” video has drawn comparisons to Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, while her 2011 Billboard Music Awards performance of “Run The World (Girls)” was visibly similar to Lorella Cuccari’s work. A user commenting on Ortiz’s post even pointed out similarities between Beyoncé’s “Partition” video and Paris’ Crazy Horse cabaret.
Inspiration between artists is inevitable, but as Ortiz points out, it’s important for these powerhouse celebrities to support and “credit the little guys.”