I’m always a little bummed to discover that some iconic choreography that I love and admire is actually a knock-off of someone else’s earlier work. Unfortunately, thanks to the internet, nothing really disappears anymore, so if it’s out there, someone somewhere is going to find it. It’s taken all the fun out of plagiarism.
It happened, famously, when it came out that Beyoncé’s iconic “Single Ladies” choreography was actually very slightly modified choreography (from 1969) by Bob Fosse for his wife Gwen Verdon to a tune called “Mexican Breakfast.” Beyoncé’s people managed to get the original video (also famously) taken down from YouTube, but I found a pretty good version on Vimeo.
Well, Fosse has been – let’s say imitated – more than once. Here’s Bob Fosse dancing (and singing) in the 1974 movie, “The Little Prince.”
Does the choreography look familiar? It should. It is with a somewhat heavy heart that I report it was later repurposed and restyled by none other than Michael Jackson. Even the costumes are similar. Ack.