Sia & Maddie Ziegler's "Big Girls Cry" Is Intense

by Kadeen Griffiths

You might need to be sitting down for this one, because it's one of Sia's most intense music videos yet. In Sia's third collaboration with Dance Moms star Maddie Ziegler, the singer has provided us with another interpretive music video that will have you captivated from start to finish by the intricate dance moves that tell a story more complicated and open to more interpretation than anything else out there. The music video for Sia's "Big Girls Cry" is filmed entirely in front of a black background and features no one but Ziegler, who mostly only appears from the waist up, and yet it packs an incredibly intense punch into every shot.

Ziegler moves around a lot and simultaneously doesn't move around very much at all. Instead of moving her body, the dancing takes place entirely with her head and hands, her fingers and hair, her eyes and facial expressions. With such phrases as "Whatever Dude" alongside a daisy written on the backs of her hands, Ziegler screams, contorts her face, sucks her thumb, lightly punches herself, throws her head back, and basically evokes, without a word, the inner turmoil that a human being can being mired in — not just one right after another, but all at once.

Some parts of the video are just downright alarming. At one point, adult hands — which might belong to Sia herself — come out of nowhere and begin to choke Ziegler. At another point, she's lifted off her feet and clearly mimicking being hanged just offscreen. By these points, you're so invested in what the video is trying to communicate that your entire body clenches up in fear for her. And that is really just a testament to what a great dancer and actress Ziegler is; at 12 years old, she is already able to pack so much feeling into just her facial expressions that her performances become more and more polished with every new video she and Sia collaborate on.

I'm still trying to figure out exactly what it is that I just watched, but I have a feeling that "Big Girls Cry" is the kind of music video that allows for everyone to have their own interpretation. And that's totally okay, because our quest to understand means that the art has done its job: it's made us think, it's made us wonder, it's made us feel. So, here is to many more collaborations between Ziegler and Sia ahead, because, clearly, when they get together for an artistic performance, magic happens.

Check out the video below.

Image: YouTube (3)