Well, we guess it’s called interpretive dance for a reason. Because while some didn’t see anything sexual about Sia‘s new video for her song “Elastic Heart,” others are blasting her, claiming it’s “disgusting” and “smacks of child molestation.”
The video stars 28-year-old Shia LaBeouf, who is no stranger to controversy, and 12-year-old dancer Maggie Ziegler, best known for Dance Moms and Sia’s “Chandelier” video. The two are in a steel cage, filthy in nude-coloured clothing that may or may not be to confound and disturb us. Or maybe the hope was the opposite and they were just keeping it simple as not to distract from the dance piece itself.
It’s heavy stuff and at times you might not even hear the music and only see Shia and Maggie. Some may find it inappropriate and perverted because of the age difference between the two but for others, there’s nothing sexual about it. If anything, it’s more feral and non-sexual. Ziegler looks like a wild animal and LaBeouf her prey, as he can’t defend himself against her. He wants to escape but, at the same time, is fascinated by the creature before him. And as she mocks him from outside the cage, it looks like it is about to veer in a totally different direction but then she becomes captivated by him. Their bond is solidified near the end but just as they both yearn to be free, he remains trapped. Shia’s face as he realizes there is no way out and Maggie’s desperate actions to free him are heartbreaking, not abhorrent.
Sia has since apologized to anyone who felt the video crossed the line. “All I can say is Maddie and Shia are two of the only actors I felt could play these two warring ‘Sia’ self states,” she wrote on Twitter.
I anticipated some 'pedophelia!!!' Cries for this video. All I can say is Maddie and Shia are two of the only actors I felt could play
sia (@Sia) January 8, 2015
As for Shia, he hasn’t publicly said anything about the video. But, man, he’s come a long, weird way, hasn’t he? He’s gone from Disney (Even Stevens, Holes) to Transformers, to his super-method ways in that Lars Von Triers sex film and the WWII movie Fury to the rapey performance art — and it’s been quite a journey. In the Sia video, he lets it all out. And if you’re able to get past the discomfort and the emotional places it goes, the video — and Shia himself — are quite beautiful to behold.