Explained The trilogy of videos by Australian Sia, starring young dancer Maddie Ziegler, is sure to capture the imagination of the audience. Modern choreography and Maddie’s unusually emotional facial expressions seem to carry some kind of hidden meaning, but what? Together with you, I will analyze each of the clips in the trilogy to understand what lies behind Maddie’s chaotic movements.
To be high – to be in a state of drug intoxication. Perhaps this is what this frame symbolizes.
The Meaning of Sia — Chandelier
While most pop artists sing of partying and the easy life of the dance floor regulars, Sia paints the other side of this eternal fun in her song Chandelier. Drinking is repeatedly mentioned in the text, and I met opinions that the song is dedicated to the problem of alcoholism, and all that we see in the video is supposedly the morning of a party girl who woke up with a hangover after a fun party. I would not define the meaning of the Chandelier video so categorically, rather, the video shows the inner world of this very party girl with all its contradictions, doubts, passions, desires, fatigue and, at the same time, frenzied energy.
It looks like our heroine has just been invited to a party by phone!
Why does the action take place in a huge and apparently uninhabited house? The scene resembles an apartment in which parties often take place – life here boils only at night, during the day the house looks half-abandoned. Perhaps this house symbolizes the inner world of the heroine, and we see how inside she is tormented by a thousand doubts. Or maybe this is a metaphor for a huge life in which it is so difficult to find oneself. Each of these options has a right to exist.
Curtains, like theatrical backstage, hide our heroine until she enters the stage
Please note that, although the heroine is alone in the apartment, she constantly seems to be playing for the audience, and the camera follows her incessantly – only for a couple of seconds Maddie escapes the camera, but almost immediately reappears in the frame. In my opinion, this is an allegory for the complete lack of personal space and the right to privacy. After all, our heroine is always in public, she is rarely alone, but even in these moments she is constantly rehearsing, playing scenes of her spectacular appearance in public in advance.
Every movement of Maddie in her dance can be interpreted in a thousand ways, and only the choreographer could tell us about the true meaning of the Chandelier video – if the meaning of these movements can be conveyed in words at all. Personally, I like to watch the clip again and again, looking for new possible interpretations of certain positions, facial expressions, gestures.
Meaning of Sia — Elastic Heart
If the video for the song Chandelier can still be perceived as just a beautiful and non-binding picture, then the Elastic Heart video really excited the audience. There must be some deep meaning here! Many immediately saw in the video a hint of pedophilia – and even if not, then against the background of the threatening Shia LaBoeuf, the small and fragile heroine Maddie was perceived by the audience as a victim. However, this is not the point of the Elastic Heart video – both heroes of the video compete with each other on equal terms.
The heroine Maddie is not an unfortunate victim at all
The key metaphor around which the meaning of the Elastic Heart video is built is dualism, the struggle of two principles, and these principles are not necessarily opposite. The cell is the mind of a person (well, or the soul), inside which this endless struggle is being waged. It is naive to believe that the two rival sides in this battle symbolize, say, good or evil. There is no black and white here – both characters have many faces and can change, which is what the video clip tells us about.
The heroine Maddie manages to leave the prison, but the unlucky Shaya remains inside
Of course, the choice of actors cannot be called accidental. A small fragile girl and a deliberately masculine image of a bearded male, played by Shia LaBeouf, are also opposing masculine and feminine principles, and the man wants to assert his power over the girl, and she successfully repels his attempts and defends her independence. You can interpret the heroes as images of father and daughter, then the meaning of the Elastic Heart video is a confrontation between two generations.
All the interpretations of the video I have listed are valid, and as with Chandelier, your interpretation may change each time you watch the video.
The Meaning of Sia – Big Girls Cry
The last clip of the trilogy is rather minimalistic compared to the first two, but it evokes no less emotions. This is no longer a choreographic production – the video is completely built on the performance of Maddie Ziegler. While the text of the song tells us about the life of a successful and independent adult girl, who, however, cannot hold back her tears, on the screen we see the very conflict that unfolds in the soul of the heroine. So, behind the appearance of a strong woman lies a little girl, fragile and defenseless, but perfectly able to play an adult – this is the main point of the Big Girls Cry video.
Let’s try to figure out what the heroine Maddie does in the frame. Of course, the meaning of these gestures can be interpreted in different ways. Perhaps your guesses will be closer to the truth than mine.
Maddy’s fingers wave like cigarette smoke.
So, the “big girl” wakes up and performs her simple morning ritual – washing her face, smoking a cigarette, brushing her teeth, applying makeup.
A big girl must look perfect
Despite seemingly such careful preparations, she feels insecure and constantly checks to see if everything is in order with her face.
Girls’ best friends are tranquilizers
To calm down, the girl takes pills, but this does not help to cope with anxiety …
The real “big girl” takes the stage
Alas, to cope with anxiety, anger and despair does not work. And then another girl comes to “help” – that same “adult” part of the essence of the heroine. She rudely forces the girl to shut up and calm down.
Desperate attempts to hide anxiety only make it worse.
This “help” does not make her feel any better, but now the heroine remembered that her emotions must be suppressed, suppressed, and desperately continues to do so. In the struggle with his inner little “I”, in his opposition to the pretense of adult life, is the meaning of the video Big Girls Cry.