LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Last night, Logitech and award-winning choreographer JaQuel Knight came together to recognize Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) creators at a dinner celebration that closed out #Creators4BIPOC month, a movement that aims to help address barriers disproportionately faced by BIPOC creators.
In light of the recent Black TikTok strike and the importance of giving credit where it is due to choreographers and originators of dances, Logitech and Knight are helping ten BIPOC creators secure copyright of their choreography, paving the way for all creators to own and monetize their creations. The first six of these creators, who were surprised with the news and presented with labanotations at the celebration dinner are:
- Keara Wilson, creator of the “Savage” dance to Megan Thee Stallion’s song of the same name
- Young Deji, creator of "The Woah" dance
- Fullout Cortland, choreography to Doja Cat’s “Say So” performance at the 2020 Billboard Music Awards
- Nae Nae Twins, creator of the “Savage Remix” dance to Megan Thee Stallion’s (feat. Beyoncé) song of the same name
- Chloe Arnold, “Salute A Legend” choreography for Syncopated Ladies
- Mya Johnson and Chris Cotter, creator of the “Up” dance to Cardi B’s song of the same name
“I am so thrilled to announce this collaboration with The JaQuel Knight Foundation and Logitech, a remarkable step in our goal toward creating a system of protection for young creators,” said JaQuel Knight. “The JK Foundation was ultimately started to provide a place of support for dancers (during an extremely fragile time in the pandemic, nonetheless), and to put the power back in the artists’ hands - not just for myself, but for the next JaQuel Knight. For all of the little boys and girls who look like me. The foundation’s hope is to impact, encourage, and inspire the next generation of artists, and build a community that supports each other. I am so inspired by this incredible group of choreographers and am so excited to be able to share this historic moment with them as we move toward real change in the commercial music and entertainment industries.”
Copyrighting choreography is complex and challenging, and Logitech and Knight hope to support more creators through this process. According to the U.S. Copyright Office1, they receive less than 20 choreographic work applications, out of more than 500,000 applications the office receives each year for “dramatic works.” Copyrighting movement puts the power back in the creator’s hands, positioning their work as intellectual property, ensuring that they receive due credit. So if the choreography is used in feature films, commercials or video games, the creator is able to receive payment for the usage.
“Thank you for creating iconic work … a piece of me is from a piece of you, and I wouldn’t be here had it not been for people like you,” said Fullout Courtland of Knight, upon receiving a labanotation for his choreography. “You don’t have to do this, so thank you for doing this and for having the heart to do this.”
“Thank you for stepping up on our behalf and helping make a change,” said the Nae Nae Twins.
At the event, Logitech and Knight also announced a new short film inspired by Knight’s mission of speaking up on the issue of choreographers receiving appropriate credit for their work, and standing up for copyright protection of choreography. The film will document a group of creatives - inspired by industry-pioneer Knight - on their quest to copyright their works, as they stand on the forefront of a movement for artists’ rights. This is a story spanning generations, taking us through the past, present, and future - shining a light on the old history and laws that have allowed these archaic systems to thrive, one man’s current fight to register and protect his own work, and a group of young artists who are the future of culture. Knight’s groundbreaking journey as the first pop/hip-hop choreographer to copyright his dance moves, including the iconic moves in Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It),” - is just the beginning; this is a story about a movement that will shape the future for BIPOC creators for years to come. The project, funded by Logitech, is led by J.K. Creatives Inc, Mary Pelloni and Meridith Rojas from Logitech For Creators, a brand extension of Logitech that exists to empower all creators to pursue their passions.
“We are here to empower creators to share their stories and JaQuel’s story needs to be heard,” said Meridith Rojas, Global Head of Entertainment and Creator Marketing, Logitech For Creators. “We share JaQuel’s mission of driving change and conversation about creative copyright, and we’re taking steps to support this monumental work. This is not a film about dance, it’s a film about change, justice, and fighting for creator rights.”
The #Creators4BIPOC dinner and dance celebration was also attended by celebrities including will.i.am, Debbie Allen, and more.
#Creators4BIPOC initiative is led by Logitech For Creators, a brand extension of Logitech that exists to empower all creators to pursue their passions. Now in its second year, #Creators4BIPOC is a movement initiated in 2020 by Streamlabs to help address racial inequality through a $1 million minimum in donations to BIPOC charities over the next ten years. To learn more about the creators, nonprofit organizations and how to get involved with the #Creators4BIPOC movement, visit creators4bipoc.com.
PHOTOS FROM #CREATORS4BIPOC CELEBRATION
Caption: Logitech and visionary choreographer JaQuel Knight drive change For BIPOC creators through copyright protection and new film
Credit: Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for Logitech For Creators
About the film
The film will explore the history of the choreograph copyright and how it has been extremely undervalued. Historically, this has disproportionately affected BIPOC art and creativity, as their work has been misappropriated and exploited. The film will follow the people involved in the struggle to attribute fair value to choreography as an art and copyright-protected medium. This includes Knight’s accomplishments and future efforts to change the industry and how his work has and will continue to impact and change the lives of so many young creators who can now own and monetize their creative content. This is not a film about dance, it’s a film about change, justice, and fighting for creator’s rights.
About JaQuel Knight
JaQuel Knight is a director, creative director, entrepreneur and critically acclaimed, award-winning celebrity choreographer known for creating some of the most memorable moments in dance and entertainment history. His rise to global recognition came at the age of 18, when he created the choreography for Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It),” which has since accumulated over 829 million views on YouTube and become one of the most iconic videos of the 21st century. As a choreographer and creative visionary, JaQuel has lent his creative expertise to culture-shifting projects such as Beyoncé’s “Black Is King” film for Disney+ and “Homecoming” documentary for Netflix, the Shakira Super Bowl Halftime performance with Jennifer Lopez, and Cardi B & Megan Thee Stallion’s “WAP” video. Additionally, artists ranging from Marshmello, to pop legends like Cher and Britney Spears, to singer-songwriter stars like The Chicks, Miley Cyrus, Pink, Zara Larsson, Victoria Monét and Ben Platt, to hip-hop powerhouses like Pharrell, N*E*R*D, and Big Sean have all enlisted the help of JaQuel to utilize his impeccable vision and ability to innovate groundbreaking concepts that the world has never seen before. As a director, JaQuel has brought numerous other projects to the forefront, and served as creative director and choreographer for all things Megan Thee Stallion in 2020. To cap off an incredibly busy year, JaQuel garnered the cover of the prominent Billboard Magazine, being named the first choreographer ever to make the cover.
In 2018, JaQuel launched his own production company, J.K. Creatives, Inc. Based in Los Angeles, the company oversees artists, songwriters, and producers, and produces music videos & short films. J.K. Creatives houses its own media department, where JaQuel creates and develops content for TV, film, and digital, from scripted features to non-scripted competitions and series. Aside from his work, JaQuel operates his eponymous non-profit organization, The JaQuel Knight Foundation, targeting community focused initiatives aimed to build, uplift and inspire the next generation of artists. Through the foundation, JaQuel brings grants, scholarships and events to underrepresented groups throughout the globe. Most recently, JaQuel and his foundation partnered with various dancer relief organizations across the nation to launch The JaQuel Knight Dancers’ Relief Fund, providing grants and meals to dancers and creatives whose lives and work were impacted by the pandemic. Last year, JaQuel also launched Knight Choreography and Music Publishing where he and his manager work to ensure that choreographers and songwriters receive royalties for their compositions, and generate opportunities for those choreographies to be performed and reproduced. Born in North Carolina and raised in Atlanta, JaQuel currently resides in Los Angeles, where he continues to develop and innovate creative ideas for music’s brightest stars, the next generation of artists, and beyond.
About Logitech For Creators
Logitech For Creators is a brand extension of Logitech that helps all creators pursue their passions by unlocking their extraordinary potential and ability to shape culture. We celebrate creators and put them at the heart of everything we do, and support them with our products and services. Logitech For Creators brings together Blue Microphones, Mevo and Streamlabs, brands that have always served creators with their tools.
Founded in 1981, and headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, Logitech International is a Swiss public company listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange (LOGN) and on the Nasdaq Global Select Market (LOGI). Find Logitech For Creators at www.logitech.com/creators, the company blog or @LogitechC.
Logitech and other Logitech marks are trademarks or registered trademarks of Logitech Europe S.A and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. For more information about Logitech and its products, visit the company’s website at www.logitech.com.
1Source: Billboard, “Inside 'Single Ladies' Choreographer JaQuel Knight's Quest to Copyright His Dances.”