Flemish-Moroccan choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui played a role in creating the much applauded dance routine of American pop singer Beyoncé for the Grammy Awards on 12th February 2017. USA Today wrote: “Her visual presentation was in a completely different class from anything else at the Grammys so far this year, or most other years.” The pregnant Beyoncé performed ‘Love Drought’ and ‘Sandcastles’ in a show which stood out for its choreography and visual spectacle.
The two artists previously collaborated last year for a benefit concert on the streaming website Tidal. Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, artistic leader of Royal Ballet Flanders and dance company Eastman, described the influences on the performance to the newspaper De Morgen, including the importance of a sense of connection between the generations, with the audience, and with one’s inner spiritual peace and power, represented by flowing wave movements passing between the performers. He commented, “It was a special opportunity for me to work with her on choreography in this wonderfully unique moment in her life – this pregnancy.”
Beyoncé has previously taken inspiration from other European choreographers, leading to controversy over plagiarism for a video which was alleged to have used ideas from the work of Flemish choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker. Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui is said to have been moved that she reached out to him to collaborate directly.
Read about Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui in this article from The Low Countries Yearbook, watch Beyoncé's Grammy Performance here: