This music video is a beautiful piece of performance art. Any one with an appreciation of dance or experience of mental health problems should be able to understand what’s going on here.
Unfortunately it has attracted a lot of negative attention and the term ‘pedophilia’ has been thrown around. This kind of talk is perhaps reflective of the way the uneducated and some ill-minded people think. The media is of course, feeding greedily off of the negativity – another reason to be sad about the current state of society.
One of the best things about the Elastic Heart video is how it can be interpreted in so many different ways. There has been speculation that it represents the struggle Sia went through with her mentally ill father. Sia has explained though, that Shia LaBeouf and Maddie Ziegler were playing the same person, that she meant to create emotional content, and did not mean to offend anyone.
My interpretation of the dance (not taking the music into account – which is ironic because, is anyone)? is a person at war with themselves. For me there can often be a battle in my mind between who I am and who I think I should be.
The energetic, ambitious side is fearless with a will to move forward in life and tries desperately to pull the anxious and scared part of themselves out of the cage they’ve become prisoner in.
One can leave whenever they wish and the other is bound by their own walls. I could talk about the cage metaphor for ages!
If you take a look at the endless stream of YouTube comments you’ll notice that there is actually a lot of love for the video, isn’t a shame that media such as The Rolling Stone online, only points out the negative press it has received? It would be just lovely if a piece of art like this was being written about in a positive light, being shared to enrich peoples lives and open minds. After all, it’s not as if Sia hired one of those awful ‘performance artists’ who enjoy shoving balls of wool/battery packs into their bodies and call it art!
Perhaps a different actor/dancer could have been chosen. An adult female could have worked, but it wouldn’t have been symbolistic of Sia and her father, and it definitely wouldn’t have received this much attention. If I’m being completely honest, my reason for viewing was Shia LeBeouf and I’m very glad I’ve seen it. I’m quite sure this will be one of my favourite songs for a long time and with 16 million views in the space of two days – Sia (and her team) certainly did something right.