So finally, to wrap this year up, I’ve gathered a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Whether it be music or TV, or from the stage or possibly the movies, this is a gathering of all what’s been loveable about 2014. Which also leads us into a new exciting year, including the blog taking on a slightly different format. Yes, it’ll still be about music, TV, stage performances, amongt other things, but in a somewhat compressed version.
BEST IN 2014,
BEST “WHAT COULD’VE BEEN A BRILLIANT ALBUM”,
BREAKTHROUGH IN 2015?
I’ve basically deticated my 2014 to this talented young man. His three EP-releases this year, Wrong Or Right, Pray For Love and Walk, easily would’ve made the number one spot on my Top 10 Albums of 2014, if they actually would’ve been released as such. I’ve totally and utterly fallen in love with Kwabs, in the power of his songwriting and tremendous vocals. So, until the real debut album appears in 2015, I’ve put together a playlist of what could’ve been a brilliant, almost perfect album. Let’s call it Walk/Pray/Wrong.
BEST DANCE PERFORMANCE IN A VIDEO
– SIA CHANDELIER
Whether it be the crazy Lena Dunham-featured performance, the magnificent duet version between Maddie Ziegler and Allison “So You Think You Can Dance” Holker on Dancing with the stars or the out-of-this-world-wonderful version from-video-to-stage on Ellen, this video, this song, this performance, this choreography and this young lady, have moved me time and time again, throughout the year. And still does.
BEST DANCE PERFORMANCE IN VIDEO 2
– HERCULES & LOVE AFFAIR FEAT. JOHN GRANT I TRY TO TALK TO YOU
Contemporary dance has had a sort of a revival in music vieos during 2014, as seen in the above mentioned Chandelier but also in the brilliant video for the Hercules & Love Affair and John Grant collaboration, I try to talk to you.
BEST TV DRAMA,
– THE HONORABLE WOMAN (BBC Two), MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL
This masterpiece of a TV-drama written and directed by Hugo Blick, is a psychological, physical and an emotional punch in the face, on so many levels, where the exquisite Maggie Gyllenhaal embodies Nessa Stein, with every little cell in her body and being. If there ever was one must-see-2014, this is it.
BEST TV DRAMA 2
– THE LINE OF DUTY (BBC Two)
The first season was already a heart-stopping thriller and somehow they managed to pull all the stops to make season two even better, stronger and more complex. Keeley Hawes, known for Spooks and Ashes to Ashes, totally blew my mind away, with her ambiguous, scary and also touching portrait of DI Lindsay Denton. Nothing less than riveting.
– HOMELAND, SEASON 4 (SHOWTIME)
Who would’ve thought that after two rather sleepy and slightly worn-out seasons, this political thriller would take such a total turn-around and become exciting again. Well, not me and plenty more with me. Somehow the creators managed not only to revive it, but totally renew it, with once again formidable, as in the first season, Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison taking the station chief position in Islamabad and when things are set in motion, she is, of course, right in the center of it.
BEST PERFORMANCE ON STAGE
– I NEW THEN BY JOHAN INGER
Earlier this fall I saw a brilliant triple bill by Nederlands Dans Theater 2 at Dansens Hus, where both, a chilly and elegant Postscript by Lighfoot & Leon and a funny, innovative and fleshy Left Right Left Right by Akexander Ekman, impressed the hell out of me. But then there was Johan Inger’s I New Then, accompanied by the music of Van Morrison, where the Swedish choreographer reached new levels, new depths and new heights of brilliance, which I’ve nevere seen him reach before. I was blown away. Thrown between laughter and tears. It was so crispy, ingenious and moving. It’s right up there, in lines of Bella Figura by Jiři Kylián. Simply a masterpiece.
BEST LIVE ACT
– SEINABO SEY, AT DRAMATEN, STOCKHOLM
With a voice, that not only can move mountains, but clear the clouded skies and stop the rain, she stood there on Dramatens main stage, statuesque, like a queen, but still seemingly quite embarrased by all the attention. Yes, the voice is like no other, but it wouldn’t be half the experience, if she wouldn’t have the songs to back those vocals up. Besides the songs from the brilliant For Madeleine EP, she delivered a bunch of additional and equally good tracks, which not only bumped up my expectations for the upcoming debut album, but truly gave us all a memorable and exquisite evening.
BEST 10-YEAR ANNIVERSARY
– BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICAL AT VICTORIA PALACE THEATRE, LONDON
It blew away the first time I saw it back in 2008 and again the following year, so imagine my joy when they decided to do a live broadcasting from the Victoria Palace Theatre in London, to cinemas across the world, earlier this fall. On its tenth year, this movie-to-stage-adaptation, is still the best thing I’ve ever seen on a stage. With its moving, somewhat-close-to-home story, the wonderful music composed by Elton John, the superb casting, the excellent ensemble and the magnificent choreography – e.g. the brilliant intertwining of miners, police officers, ballet girls, the dance teacher Mrs. Wilkinson and Billy in Solidarity. Yes, this show pushes all my buttons, because every time, every single time I’ve seen Billy Elliot The Musical I cry lika a bairn. And through the tears, I smile from ear to ear. This performance is such an emotionally heightened experience for me, that it’s hard to compare.
– JEFFREY TAMBOR IN TRANSPARENT
In this wonderful and groundbreaking series created by Jill Soloway for Amazon, we get to encounter the excellent Jeffrey Tambor as Mort, a man who in his 70’s decides to come out to his 3 self-absorbed children as a transgender woman. From that moment on, we get to see a touching transition, portrait and birth of Moira. Jeffrey Tambor finds the perfect tone and balance as Moira, which makes this not only of this year’s most memorable TV-moments, but one of the most memorable portraits in years.
– THE LUNCHBOX, DIRECTED BY RITESH BATRA
This one movie kept lingering on my mind throughout the year, with its subtlety and down-to-earth warmth, in perfect alignment with the superb casting of Irrfan Khan and Nimrat Kaur. The Lunchbox is nothing but a pure delight. And to see the lovely Nimrat Kaur first in this, and then see her as a cold, calculating ISI agent in the last season of Homeland, shows that she’s an acting force to be reckoned with.