Reporter. Providing the requisite material for an ironclad copyright application can also be costly (one Labanotation score can run just under $5,000). He’s already in the final stages of registering six other pieces, including his choreography for Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s August collaboration, “WAP.” Eventually he plans to register his entire catalog. He needed a tool that would empower him to not only get better compensation and credit but also formally recognize him as a capital-C Creator. “He’s giving you an overall aura. Kesha. “It was a turning point in my career,” says Megan today. "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" zadebiutował na 78. miejscu Billboard Hot 100. Of the more than 500,000 applications the office receives for millions of works The choreography for the song is based on a style of dancing known as "J-Sette." Choreographer Jonte Moaning, best known for his work with Beyonce's "Single Ladies", has been revealed to be working with T-ara for their comeback album! "It's to protect the creator from these huge corporations that come in and take advantage," he says. yeh i fink the darker one i s a mannn luk at the hands lol nd legss. A lot of the moves in "Single Ladies" are a variation of the basic moves at the beginning of the song. 29 listopada singel dotarł na 28. pozycję, a w kolejnym tygodniu awansował na 2. miejsce listy.Ze sprzedażą 204 000 kopii, piosenka uplasowała się na szczycie Hot Digital Songs, spychając na 2. pozycję inny utwór Knowles, "If I Were a Boy", którego tygodniowa sprzedaż wyniosła wtedy 160 000 kopii. [Laughs] Yes. Main Image:
JaQuel Knight photographed on October 9, 2020 at Wilhardt & Naud in Los Angeles. Two years ago, the discipline he learned during those formative summers in Atlanta came in handy when he served as a lead choreographer and co-creative director for Beyoncé’s HBCU marching band-inspired Coachella performance, which became the acclaimed Netflix concert film Homecoming. Beyoncé’s ‘Single Ladies’ choreography isn’t original but she didn’t steal it—here’s the proof Put down the pitchforks, folks. He has, symbolically, joined the canon of important contemporary choreographers: As Weber points out, the bureau has worked on scores for choreographers going back to modern dance pioneer Isadora Duncan — “and, now, through to JaQuel Knight.” After so many years of serving other artists’ visions, Knight can finally claim ownership of his own. What kind of synchronized ass shake is this?’ ” he says, bursting into laughter. The prescience JaQuel has is so important: It’s a way to awaken his artistic community, [to tell them] that they are ignoring one of the most important tools in the toolkit.”. "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" by Beyoncé was a hit in 2008 and continues to be one of her most popular songs. JaQuel is demonstrating, ‘Well, if the law is inherently against me, how is it that I’m able to use it to my advantage?’ ”, Knight’s mission may not exactly be a cause for celebration for everyone in the industry — especially video platforms like Twitch, YouTube and TikTok, which depend on user-generated content, much of which involves performing, or essentially appropriating, existing choreography. He teaches you how to flick your wrist when you’re hitting that last chorus onstage,” says Chris Anokute, founder of artist-development firm Young Forever and a former Motown Records executive who worked with Knight on Larsson. Born in North Carolina and raised in Atlanta, he has worked with Beyoncé on many of her most notable dances, including on "Single Ladies", "Formation" and the historic Coachella performances which she headlined. But within the commercial sphere, he says, “You only know what you see. If Knight could successfully register his work, Hecht knew, he could then license it to others who wanted to use it in public performances, from feature films to global tours. (“On social media, right away everyone is an art connoisseur, and as soon as you go up, you’re critiqued,” says Knight with a rueful laugh.) As drum major, Knight arranged the intricate ensemble choreography and music — Luther Vandross, Stevie Wonder, a little Crime Mob to represent for ATL. That feeling is my grandmother all day. There are certain hit songs that are almost inseparable from the dance moves that go with them. Yahoo Life. Advertising At the time he did it, no one knew it. Saved by Ember Nevill. How choreographer JaQuel Knight saved Beyoncé’s ‘Single Ladies’ video. Like Beyoncé herself, he is a master of precision (he often hires dancers with ballet technique training), so “Single Ladies” has an overall clarity and elegance, regardless of the dancers’ particular movements. “Moments where I remind myself of my grandmothers, of talent shows with my cousins, marching band, everything I’ve done wrapped into one.”. Now that I'm picturing Beyoncé as your grandmother, I'm never going to look at this video the same way again. "Single Ladies" also incorporates a lot of movements found in other Hip Hop dances. Weber, 68, is a professional dance notator who has been working closely with Knight on his copyright journey. And he and Hecht deposited with the Copyright Office both the Labanotation score for “Single Ladies” as well as the video, providing an extra level of proof that both the original concept and the dance in the video itself are his work. The music video achieved fame for its intricate choreography and its deployment of jazz handswith a wrist twist. Aemcy shirt and pants, Adidas shoes, Vitaly necklace, choker and ring, Maple Supply rings. “This is potentially a seismic event in this space,” says Lateef Mtima, the founder and director of the Institute for Intellectual Property and Social Justice and a professor of law at Howard University. “So how can I share this knowledge with everyone else, and start to build something even my kids can live off of? This interview has been edited for length and clarity. The notation for "Single Ladies" is 40 pages long, and that's the choreography from top to bottom. Beyoncé's 'Single Ladies' choreographer, JaQuel Knight, has obtained a copyright registration for the famous dance routine. He began to think of how to acknowledge such tragedies in the Tidal show and eventually suggested a moment of silence for Black victims of police violence. Call him nitpicky if you want, but JaQuel Knight is the go-to choreographer to the stars for a reason. We've seen how the media portrays Black women — they just continue to question and continue to put them down. Choreographer JaQuel Knight created that dance for Beyoncé when he was just 19 years old — and this summer, he did it again with the routine for the monster hit by Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B, "WAP. We need to have the dances people are interested in seeing, interested in doing, recorded for people in the future to see. Hear the radio version at the audio link, and read on for an edited transcript. While there aren’t any explicit criteria for what makes a piece of choreography “copyrightable,” “Single Ladies” could be a textbook example. You have this close artistic partnership with Megan Thee Stallion, and you were intimately involved in creating the performance that she gave on Saturday Night Live just a month ago, which combined music with a message to "Protect Black Women." As Kara Krakower (a former legal fellow of Hecht’s) wrote in a 2018 paper for Fordham Law School’s intellectual property journal, it wasn’t until the mid-1900s that the reputation of dancers shifted “from prostitutes to artistic geniuses” and distanced itself “from vaudeville and ‘colored’ forms of choreography” — a shift that, not so coincidentally, paralleled the rise of white, male visionaries like George Balanchine in ballet and Jerome Robbins and Bob Fosse in musical theater. There are certain hit songs that are almost inseparable from the dance moves that go with them. Barbering by Kelly J. Glusovich. Hum a few bars of " Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)," and your hand might start flipping back and forth on its own. As an artist, putting yourself onstage is already a vulnerable space. He’d teach her a bit each day, then sit down and talk about how they wanted the dance to make women feel. The end product showcases what would become Knight’s stylistic signatures. “It’s embarrassing, but he’s gotten used to it.” Knight’s choreography, she says, is “quite important in our dance heritage. They have a heavy hand on my life — my mother, I have a sister. It's about the stillness and the power that one holds being still, standing strong, being present. (They are also not choreography experts, though they analyze choreographic submissions regularly for consistency’s sake.) Being not only a choreographer but a creative director, I'm the one who envisioned the the performance from start to end — I sit down and walk Megan through the show. “He teaches you how to walk. 1 decade ago. November 12, 2020, 9:49 AM. Of the more than 500,000 applications the office receives for millions of works registered each year, says Kasunic, the number for choreographic works is typically less than 20; the office’s electronic system doesn’t even have a separate label for them, still lumping them in with dramatic works. “I don’t want to hit steps every day for the rest of my life,” says Knight. "It's to protect the creator from these huge corporations that come in and take advantage," he says. Copyright provides a creator “a level of presumptive validity, and also paternity: ‘This is mine,’ ” explains Robert Kasunic, the U.S. How choreographer JaQuel Knight saved Beyoncé’s ‘Single Ladies’ video. Letting every piece of your body have energy that can pierce the camera lens, so people at home can feel you. When JaQuel Knight was a teenager in Atlanta, he spent his summers at band camp. For Knight, “every movement has a purpose, and it’s about the music but also about the full package of what the dance is interpreting,” says Shakira, who worked with him on her Super Bowl halftime show this past year. Billboard is a subsidiary of Valence Media, LLC. And all things don't require movement: Choreography isn't only about "move, move, move, move," and "5, 6, 7, 8." Most choreographers don’t know how to do that because they don’t understand artist development.”, Knight is well-aware that not every artist has Beyoncé-level stage presence or dance training. Just to give us a sense of what you think about as a choreographer? 289.3k Likes, 10.7k Comments - Tabria Majors (@tabriamajors) on Instagram: “Y’all, I’m on a high right now. “What he sees in people is a matrix of their abilities and untapped potential,” says Pharrell Williams, whose 2017 “Lemon” video (by his band N*E*R*D and Rihanna) was built around a piece of Knight choreography, performed by magnetic dancer Mette Towley, that launched a worldwide dance challenge (and helped garner over 120 million YouTube views). At best, Congress simply seemed to be creating “a definitional difference between choreography and ‘dance in general,’ ” says Kasunic. Read the full cover story: http://blbrd.cm/Dy5xIKi Tell me about how you incorporate video, music, movement, stillness and speech to create something that is more than just entertainment. ... Knight landed his breakthrough gig at 18 years old for Beyoncé's iconic video "Single Ladies". Get familiar with these movements and add them to your routine. JaQuel Knight (born August 6, 1989) is an American choreographer and dancer. Knight’s movement is undeniably sexy, but always on the artist’s own terms: A woman dancing his choreography looks like a queen, even when she’s twerking in a position that might seem to defy gravity. I mean, how I got here as an artist is being inspired by those who came before me. Several things could account for that. Like Fortnite, you're saying — a video game that's going to make a ton of money by selling a dance that somebody else created. His phrasing isn’t predictable either, moving from moments of intensity to sudden stillness. EU Privacy Preferences, BILLBOARD is a registered trademark of Billboard IP Holdings, LLC. It has been credited with starting the "first major dance craze of both the new millennium and the Internet", triggering a number o… Then, after two years of searching, they met attorney David L. Hecht of Hecht Partners in New York, who in 2019 had litigated the most prominent case in years. There’s very little case law on copyright and choreography, and a slew of Los Angeles entertainment lawyers told Knight’s manager, Mary Pelloni, that she and Knight would at best face an uphill battle trying to register his work. It’s a bit like sheet music, if the notes were multidimensional: It uses vertical staffs (one per performer) and symbols indicating the body part, direction, length and intent for a movement. So much of what makes choreography universal and ubiquitous now is social media. Styling by Eric Archibald. When she reunited with Knight the following month, it was for her first concert since that traumatic event: a livestream for Tidal produced by Live Nation. Hecht represents a group of clients including actor Alfonso Ribeiro, rapper 2 Milly and Russell Horning, the teenager known as Backpack Kid, who alleged Epic Games copied and renamed their signature dances (The Carlton, The Milly Rock and The Floss, respectively) and sold them as emotes, the virtual “expressions” players use on the Fortnite battlefield. “Now, even Megan’s like, ‘What the fuck? But, as the industry attorney points out, “if that’s where people are making money, why wouldn’t he want to enforce his rights in that area?”. Like most choreographers, Knight does not use Labanotation for his own purposes; he records rehearsal footage and makes his own notes on it. 'Single Ladies' Choreographer JaQuel Knight On Creating The Legendary Video Maria Jose Govea / Red Bull Content Pool Knight spoke with us at Houston's first ever Red Bull BC One Dance Camp. JaQuel Knight: There's a part where... you clap your hands and your arms go around your head, and you kind of stick your butt out like your grandmother would do when her favorite part of her favorite song would come on — she'd make that good ol' stank face. Their first client is already waiting in the wings: Sean Bankhead, a friend of Knight’s who has known him since high school in Atlanta, when they were members of rival dance crews. Bankhead's choreography includes Normani’s “Motivation” video, a tour de force of dance that burnished her solo clout last year. AdChoices Short-form content in particular — for example, the “WAP” dance challenge on TikTok, which borrows from Knight’s choreography and has around 10 million unique videos — is a huge area of commercial growth. And because all Dance Notation Bureau scores are recorded on archival paper, that something will last for a very, very long time. JaQuel Knight, choreographer of iconic routines for Beyoncé, ... Hum a few bars of " Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)," and your hand might start flipping back and forth on its own. As an element of the creative process, they can prove essential and, indeed, inescapable. But within the framework of copyright, those references are considered “building blocks” — raw material artists build upon in new work, like certain chord phrasings in music — which are not only acceptable but almost expected in an art form like dance. The world of professional dance is a small one built largely on reputation — so, historically, choreographers haven’t been tempted to outright copy each other’s work, resulting in few occasions (until recently, at least) when the idea of infringement litigation even seemed necessary. “Luckily, JaQuel is making headway and getting answers that are really a huge game-changer,” says Bankhead. “JaQuel may be temperate in enforcement, but [another choreographer] may say, ‘Take every flash mob down.’ ” A platform like YouTube might “want the courts to render a populist opinion where it’s not enforceable in the first place,” the attorney continues, “or else they can be abused by copyright holders.” (YouTube declined to comment for this story. “It’s like the choreography world is just warming up to this stuff,” says Hecht. In other words, he needed copyright protection. You tap on your cheek just a little bit, you look at it, and then you go back into your choreography. "I'm from a small town in North Carolina where we frequent family reunions, family cookouts, on the weekends. To do so, they’re seeking the advice of contacts both in and outside the music industry — experts like Warner Chappell president of A&R Ryan Press (for the publishing perspective) and Knight’s agent, Lucille DiCampli (for the musical theater perspective). “To get onstage again after being shot in your feet? I felt like it validates our positioning and ownership. Still, he knows that every artist might have an inner Sasha Fierce. In the days following, it dominated the cultural conversation (everywhere from the Black Lives Matter Twitter feed to Fox News), proving how Knight’s creative vision can raise even an established star artist’s profile. Emmanuel Ocbazghi. “Copyright ownership is essential for Black creators to ensure authentic representation and to protect cultural output,” says Terrica Carrington, vp legal policy and copyright counsel at the Copyright Alliance. Today, choreography still feels a bit like the Wild West of copyright. And while the exact details — including who would pay, how much and how he’d enforce his rights against those who don’t — are still being figured out, Knight’s mission could be revolutionary for the wider dance community. Still, plenty of choreographers have no idea that they can register their work in the first place. Thanks to the Society of Directors and Choreographers union — which sets minimums for work, including royalties from ticket sales — theater is the only art form in which choreographers can currently see a profit in perpetuity. It makes use of staccato bounce-based hand claps, Morse code beeps, an ascending whistle in the background, and a punchy organic beat. i tryed my best [= please no negative comments =\ That kind of statement goes far beyond the steps he creates. “And that’s just not true. Knight is defining the way some of today's biggest stars move, and he's getting recognition in a way that many choreographers never do — by copyrighting his work. Now, they’re figuring out what those licenses might look like and cost, along with what back-end opportunities might exist for choreographers with copyright ownership. ii saw alot of people doing their version of the Single Ladies video so id thought i do mine. Styling by Eric Archibald. © 2019 Billboard Media, LLC. He could help change not just what recognition and compensation look like, but maybe also the arcs of his fellow choreographers’ careers. Of Gatson’s “Mexican Breakfast” reference, Knight says, “You see the three ladies, you see the inspiration — but the funk, the stylized movement, they’re extremely different. “How is this happening and [choreographers] are not getting anything?” Knight remembers asking himself. I'm up on him, he up on me In 2017, Janet Jackson made national news for reuniting her former dancers onstage for her famed “Rhythm Nation” routine. These themes of his work — uplifting Black entertainers, helping them own their power through statements that are sometimes political — make Knight’s own quest to copyright-protect his work as a Black artist something of a political act itself. But when it became public knowledge, it awakened modern-day artists to start thinking about their intellectual property from that perspective. Yet, “Mike WiLL Made-It is making millions, millions [as producer of ] ‘Formation,’ ” reasoned Knight. During SNL rehearsals, Megan told Knight she wanted to train with him in Los Angeles for a month, just to prepare for whatever their next project may be. As the centerpiece of culture-changing music videos, that choreography has profoundly changed the way Black women are portrayed. Excuses!”. Grooming by AJ Crimson. The title track and music video was released on October 26, 2020. According to DiCampli, choreographers can get between 0.75 and 3.5 points on a show’s gross revenue, depending on their experience and whether the show recoups its investment — a figure that includes future productions and touring companies. At that point in time, Gatson also worked closely with Beyoncé on both creative direction and choreography, and once the two began conceiving “Single Ladies,” he asked Knight to fly to New York to join the team. © 2021 Billboard Media, LLC. For real? “To this day, he says he came to make sure I noticed him, not to get the job,” recalls Gatson. But their reality has been far more complicated. For most of the 20th century, choreographic works could only be registered if they demonstrated a clear narrative and could thus be categorized as “dramatic works” — which left out most anything outside traditional ballet. Thousands of fans flocked to Britney Spears’ Las Vegas residency to witness her bust out the same “I’m a Slave 4 U” dance break she has been doing since 2001. Fast Company - KC Ifeanyi. Big breaks come in all shapes and sizes, but rarely do they come as big as JaQuel Knight's. Favorite Answer. Often, a credit on social media is all a commercial choreographer like him will see as a testament to his work. They did it?’ ” recalls Gatson, 62. Often, he’ll ground a choreographic work in a motif like the “Single Ladies” hand flick — something any viewer will remember, and can likely replicate, even if the surrounding movement patterns are more complex. Why … Knight and Hecht say they don’t want to use copyright to police regular folk who love dance — say, a flash mob performing the “Single Ladies” choreography — and just want to collect a licensing fee when his choreography is used for commercial gain (say, livestreams of tours using his choreography). Those cases were largely withdrawn because, in March 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in an unrelated case that a claim of infringement based on a registered copyright requires first securing that registration. Grooming by AJ Crimson. So why was it important to you to get copyright protection? Beyonce's video "Single Ladies". And what about the specific message of protecting Black women? By Deborah Searle. 0 0. When you look at the video, as much as it's about the moves, it's also about the feeling and the intent. Lynne Weber has danced with a professional ballet company and studied hula, Indian mudras and modern dance. ... Wonder Girls enlists "Single Ladies" choreographer. And if it hasn’t been done, how can you dream of it?” One of the people most stunned by Knight and his team’s success registering “Single Ladies” was, in fact, his mentor and co-creator, Frank Gatson Jr., an industry veteran who danced in Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” video. [At this point,] people can see something right away and know ‘JaQuel choreographed that.’ ”, It’s not in his interest to be anyone other than himself. That’s why intellectual property is a big deal.”. Call him nitpicky if you want, but JaQuel Knight is the go-to choreographer to the stars for a … The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to Billboard.com/business. For now, Knight is focused on forming a new entity of his own — a publishing company for choreographers. It's definitely the joy, though. Andres Norwood/Courtesy of the artist Recently, he started working with Megan Thee Stallion as both choreographer and creative director, elevating the rapper’s stage presence and infusing her performances with political urgency, as he did for her October debut on Saturday Night Live. What copyrighting does is allow you to still have your hand on it, even after the work is done — so as people go and want to use your IP, use your choreography in feature films, commercials, even on video games, you still have ownership and you should still collect some sort of residual payment for such usage. Executives and managers for artists ranging from pop star Zara Larsson to country icons The Chicks have him on speed dial, hoping his moves — or even simply his “vibe” — will unlock new powers within their artists. Do you fear that that's what's going to happen here? But as videos have moved from TV to YouTube and Instagram, the importance of visual spectacle has only grown — and choreography has become a more significant part of an artist’s iconography. hide caption. Knight describes his current role with her as “more than choreographer or creative director — essentially, the guy who figures out the overall image when it comes to performance.”, It’s a role he has inhabited before, for artists like Tinashe and Zara Larsson ready to break through to the next level of stardom. He first visited Japan when he was invited to teach dance workshops in Hiroshima in 2004, and since then has worked as a choreographer for major Asian pop artists and groups including Jolin Tsai, Namie … As a choreographer for Beyoncé’s 2016 “Formation” video, Knight’s powerfully defiant movement helped usher in her politically engaged Lemonade era — and generate hundreds of millions of YouTube views. “I was like, ‘Really? Knight could potentially also consider forming a kind of collecting society — collective rights management organizations, like ASCAP and SESAC in the United States, that license copyrighted works on behalf of their authors. (He was only charged for the incident in October.) Single Ladies and WAP Choreographer, JaQuel Knight Seeks To Empower Black Women by Esther Ogundipe November 17, 2020 November 17, 2020 Leave a reply 19 Choreographer JaQuel Knight created that dance for Beyoncé when he was just 19 years old — and this summer, he did it again with the routine for the monster hit by Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B, “ WAP .” Reporter. “I was able to show what I’m capable of. 'Single Ladies' JaQuel Knight becomes first choreographer to land the cover of 'Billboard' magazine. Call him nitpicky if you want, but JaQuel Knight is the go-to choreographer to the stars for a reason. So why was it important to you to get copyright protection? Joner Hall (winner of Beyonce's "Single Ladies Dance-off on the Rachel Ray Show) doing the single ladies video dance!!!!!Front of his high school marching band camp though — marching band camp though — marching band in. 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