Kath just informed me about a fan war going on between Olympic Gold-Medalist Apolo Anton Ohno of Dancing with the Stars and Benji Schwimmer, winner of last summer’s So You Think You Can Dance, over a mambo routine choreographed by Alex da Silva, allegedly copied by Anton’s partner Julianne Hough. I can see some similar dance moves, but the entire dance choreography was not copied.
A couple of days ago, Benji posted about it in his blog which triggered the Apolo-bashing on the DWTS boards. Julianne’s mistake was that some of the tricks in the routine looked like they were lifted straight from Benji’s mambo — which is a fair observation — but I don’t think that anyone has exclusive use of a trick or dance move, as some of Benji’s fans might suggest. Does Benji and Heidi have exclusive use of spinning under someone’s right leg? I don’t think so. Are the copyright lawyers of SYTYCD now supposed to sue DWTS because this? Benji should be careful and not hold himself to that standard because he might just run out of unique dance moves since someone out there has more than likely done the same leg lift, turn or slide, which some of his fans claim as his. In fact he didn’t even choreograph the mambo in question.
For those interested, here’s an article on Copyright of Choreographic Works
Benji and Heidi:
Apolo and Julianne: