TEXT NATASHA STAGG
SIA GETS DANCE MOMS STAR MADDIE ZIEGLER TO FACE SOME DEMONS FOR HER IN A NEW VIDEO FOR “CHANDELIER”
It might be a little between the lines, but Sia’s official video for “Chandelier,” above, released today (May 6th, 2014) feels pretty dark. If you’ve seen the lyric video (also in the slideshow above) for the song off 1000 Forms of Fear (due out in June), or if you’ve read Sia’s Billboard cover story, you know that she has a complicated relationship with alcohol and drugs. “Chandelier” at first sounds like a party ballad (“I’m gonna swing from the chandelier” doesn’t seem like a bad thing when its belted out like that), but speaks instead to a far more realistic interpretation of the emotional highs and lows caused by addiction (“Keep my glass full until morning light, ‘cos I’m just holding on for tonight. Sun is up, I’m a mess, gotta get on out, gotta run from this. Here comes the shame…”). The lyric video, if it serves as a prequel to the official, directed by Sia herself and Danny Askill, asks who that floating wig belongs to. It’s Sia’s signature cut. The absence of a face isn’t so mysterious to her fans, seeing as the singer/songwriter who helped Béyonce, Katy Perry, David Guetta and Britney Spears top the charts lately has chosen to remain anonymous to the press. But in today’s installment of the Sia chronicles, a tiny dancer has replaced the green screen suit and mask, and in it she seems to face some demons of her own.
Here, Maddie Ziegler is a mini-Sia in wig and pink hand paint, trapped in a dingy apartment. No drinking or chandelier-swinging occur, and no filling of cups until the sun comes up, but Dance Moms star Ziegler looks incredibly mature during this expressive routine, not once breaking character for a kiddish moment, and even more impressively, not resorting to sex-fueled adult-bodied mimickery, either. The morbid part of this visual isn’t so much the horror movie-inspired movements of a girl about the same age as that fast-motion monster in The Ring, but the parallels drawn between a seriously camera-shy recovering addict and a reality TV child star breaking away from the show’s overbearing and admittedly attention-seeking mothers. Is that a light at the end of this tunnel, near the end of the video? Looks like it, but Ziegler’s creepy wind-up toy moves might suggest instead only an acceptance of its inherent darkness.