Friday, May 16, 2014

Sia's "Chandelier" music video

Have you seen the music video for Sia's Chandelier choreographed by fabulous LA resident Ryan Heffington? I think it's amazing. I didn't know much about Sia or her work before seeing this video. She's a singer-songwriter and apparently it's the first single she has put out in four years. Both the song and the music video feel very personal to me: like she's exposing herself, even without physically appearing the music video. Sia has been public about her experience with drug and alcohol abuse, and the lyrics speak to a woman struggling with fame and spiraling out of control. The young dancer in the video sports a blond wig that closely resembles Sia's signature style. To me, this all means that this video is a representation of mental instability and addiction. The dancer is manic, at time frantic, always moving, often bizarre, sometimes beautiful, alluring, disturbing. The small and dilapidated apartment further conveys a sense of sickness and despondency. Is the apartment supposed to represent the narrator's mind? I personally choose not to take it so literally, but I could believe it.

I've heard some questioning of whether it was appropriate to use a young girl as a dancer within the context of a very adult subject matter. I think it works very well here. The dancer isn't doing anything inappropriate for a child. And I think it adds something to the emotions being conveyed. The innocence juxtaposes with the sense of danger to make you worried for her, a valid feeling when watching someone emotionally implode. And it just adds to the other-worldly, impressionistic feel of the video which again works well for something that really is like performance art. Well done everyone involved! This video has stuck with me for days now and I don't think I'll be able to shake it anytime soon.

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