Discussing: Sia’s Elastic Heart Music Video

My knowledge of Sia is pretty limited. I know she has some acclaim as an independent artist but I primarily know her from David Guetta’s song Titanium, which I didn’t like. So when I heard through Twitter about this new video from Sia with Shia LaBeouf in it, I ignored it at first. I didn’t like Titanium and I figured it would sound like that song. However, I kept hearing about it and the controversy it stirred up. It stayed in my mind. Finally my friend EJ posted about it on Facebook and I decided to watch the video.

The video features actor Shia LaBeouf and dancer Maddie Ziegler in a giant cage, performing what could safely be called an interpretive dance. There’s a lot of primitive, animal-like movements, with Ziegler often lashing out at LaBeouf and he, contrastingly, trying to get close to her. There’s a lot of Ziegler moving around in odd ways while LaBeouf either giving a dominant disposition or showcasing his strength. As the performance continues, the dance becomes more compassionate and endearing before ending with LaBeouf struggling to escape the cage and Ziegler frustratingly trying to pull him out.

The video is quite powerful and as someone who has not seen a lot of interpretive dance, I was very surprised by how much I liked and was affected by it. None of them talk, with the only sound being the song itself. The entire situation and progression of it is told through their movements and actions. It’s a very affecting way to describe a feeling and it’s very open to interpretation. I personally feel that it’s between an older man who is nurturing and protective and an impulsive and guarded younger women. The man is trying to connect with the woman but is failing. Meanwhile, the woman is trying to let her guard down for the man but is afraid to. In the end, both are able to temporarily able to achieve their goals but the man is ultimately unable to fully commit.

There are some who think that this video had something to do with pedophilia. Aside from the fact that this video features a 28 year old man interacting with a 12 year old girl, I don’t see that subject in this dance at all. I certainly don’t see getting upset about it as even if you do interpret pedophilic subtext in this video, that doesn’t mean it’s something that shouldn’t be discussed. It’s a gut reaction, it seems, to want to talk down something that makes you uncomfortable. While you’re free to feel that way and you can in turn not interact with it and say you don’t like it, that doesn’t mean someone else can’t get something from it. Then again, that’s what art does, right? It stirs up discussion and there’s a lot that can be learned from that.

I didn’t discuss it much here as it wasn’t the point of this post but the song itself is pretty good. It does still come from the ElectroPop genre for the most part but the lyrics are pretty good and there’s some interesting instrumentation throughout. What do you think about the video for Sia’s Elastic Heart? Leave a comment and let me know. Peace and love, audiophiles! Colorwind out!

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