"I didn't know anything about this. I'm not mad, but this is plagiarism. This is stealing," De Keersmaeker told Studio Brussels
. "What's rude about it is that they don't even bother about hiding it. They seem to think they could do it because it's a famous work. Am I honored? Look, I've seen local school kids doing this. That's a lot more beautiful."
Beyonce's rep didn't immediately respond to our request for comment.
The video's director, Adria Petty (Tom Petty's daughter, incidentally), spoke to MTV
about what inspired the look and choreography of "Countdown," and while De Keersmaeker wasn't mentioned by name, Petty admitted that the dance moves were borrowed from Europe. "I brought Beyoncé a number of references and we picked some out together. Most were German modern-dance references, believe it or not. But it really evolved," Petty said. Judging by the side-by-side comparison, however, they don't look too evolved. Here's a longer look at the dance moves Beyoncé "referenced" in "Countdown," by YouTube user fundifferent1