Great Moments In Pop Videos Ripping Off Other People’s Choreography

Michaelangelo Matos | October 15, 2008 12:00 pm

Perhaps you’ve heard about the brouhaha over Beyonce’s new video for “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It),” the choreography of which is a leeeeetle too close to the steps from Bob Fosse’s “Mexican Breakfast”–a viral video fave thanks to a dub-over of DJ Unk’s “Walk It Out”–for some folks’ comfort. Apparently putting a song over existing video is creative, while remaking the video’s particulars for a new song isn’t, or something, though I am grateful that one blogger was moved to accuse B of “straight up pull[ing] a Kenley” (A+).

Indeed, the resemblance is pretty obvious. Yet the thing no one mentions is how much Fosse’s original looks like something Motown choreographer Cholly Atkins came up with while feeling especially frisky one day. And, of course, paying homage to Fosse in music videos is nothing new; the David Fincher-directed clip for Paula Abdul’s “Cold Hearted,”, for example, paid sweaty tribute to All That Jazz 19 years ago, and Christina Aguilera returned the favor in 1999.

Still, in the interest of science we found this very handy list of music videos that paid tribute to musical numbers, movie sequences, etc. The most obvious mentions are Madonna’s various homages–to Gentlemen Prefer Blondes in “Material Girl,” to Metropolis in “Express Yourself,” et. al.–but we have one of our own we’d like to offer. Surely these modern-day disco heroes:

have heard of these golden-age disco heroes:

Earlier: Bionic Beyonce Tries To Jump-Start A New Dance Craze