So there’s been a bit of a huff over Sia’s new music video for her song “Elastic Heart,” which depicts a cage dance fight between 28 year old Shia LaBeouf and 12 year old Maddie Ziegler. Ziegler also performed in Sia’s Grammy nominated “Chandelier” video. “Elastic Heart” appears on Sia’s 1000 Forms of Fear and she plans on creating a “making of” video of the music clip soon.
The two “fight” while dressed in dirty skin coloured leotards inside a large cage. Sia described the conflict between LaBeouf and Ziegler as a “war between two ‘Sia’ self states” and that “all [she] can say is [they] are two of the only actors I felt could play these two warring ‘Sia’ states.”
That doesn’t stop many people from claiming the video has perverted undertones and a theme of pedophilia. Though, apparently Sia was not too surprised by the accusation. She said in a tweet that she had expected a bit of controversy over the video.
She then went on to apologize to anyone who might have been triggered by the content, going further to explain that she had wanted to “create some emotional content, not to upset anybody.”
The idea that there might be something not so appropriate in the video likely comes from the age differences between the two actors, their skin tight costumes, and the various contact they have as a part of their dance. As they “fight”, their bodies sometimes become entangled or they end up lying next to each other.
The two actors are participating in interpretive dance, so yes, some people interpreted it to have a dark meaning but that doesn’t place blame on the creator of the video. People will always take what meaning they want from art and that interpretation is their own. That’s what art is supposed to inspire; reactions and interpretations. Some people understood that the two actors represented Sia while others saw a father losing his daughter as she grew up and yes, some people saw it as an inappropriate relationship between an older man and a younger girl. It’s doubtful that “Elastic Heart” will be as acclaimed as “Chandelier” but it does seem to e inspiring just as much publicity, though in a rather different way.