The Secret Dance Club is a dance collective dedicated to making exciting and engaging contemporary dance theatre, presenting innovative work in varied formats and settings, and exploring themes and stories relevant to today.
It was founded by core members Debi Hedderwick, Lillie Hedderwick Turner and David Layne who work collaboratively to co-create the work.
Our work has been hugely successful in making strong emotional connection with its audiences, gaining very enthusiastic feedback, and has received very positive reviews from critics at Edinburgh and Brighton Fringe Festivals (please find links below). We also show work in the local community bringing an innovative but relevant perspective on contemporary concerns to new audiences.
From the first work The Charm About You (2013) which was reworked to make Camera Obscura (2015), through Memory Box (2017), The Hill Live (2018), Dreamland (2019), Objectification (2019) reworked as Plinth (2020), we have worked collaboratively to produce pieces that have variously taken the audience on a promenade journey through a multi-media installation, re-developed gallery, chapel, community hall and outdoor venues as imaginative and site relevant installation settings; included film projection, the spoken word and live music as an integral part of the expression.
TSDC has also provided opportunity for the artistic and professional development of emerging dance artists and for community based performers to work alongside professionals.
Objectification (2019) reworked as Plinth (2020) a live dance installation exploring the act of looking in art and in life. 5 women stand on plinths, are they art, are they real, should they be looked at, what do they represent? The piece was performed at Wirksworth Festival 2019 Arts and Architecture Trail with a core theme of women and objectification ("best piece in the Festival", "mesmorising", "strangely moving", "the most powerful performance I have seen in years") , and was re-made in 2020 with additional resonances of social isolation and our desire to connect and the recalibration in the light of BLM protests of who we choose to place on plinths for public recognition.
Dreamland (2019) [see below] a collaboration with musician Dan Whitehouse and artist Martin Hyde for the music video Dreamland. Choreography and performance.
Recalculating (2019) a dance short to spoken word for multi-media art event, Sensory, curated by artist Martin Hyde.
The Hill Live (2018), multi-media promenade performance inspired by award-winning photographer Kate Bellis' exhibition The Hill. Dance, live music, poetry and story-telling, projection of photography and film, combine to tell the story of a community's life, work, culture and history. Commissioned by THE for Wirksworth Festival 2018, and also performed at Copeland Gallery Peckham, 2019.
Memory Box (2017), live dance installation performance using dance and projected film to explore the shifting patterns and variations in memory and individual perception of shared events, and the way in which memories can hold people together. Performed at Deda 2016, Wirksworth Festival 2017, Brighton Fringe 2018. ("intense" Remotegoat 5* review below).
The Charm About You (2013) reworked as Camera Obscura (2015) The Charm About You is a dance theatre piece created collaboratively and performed in 2013 that launched TSDC, and from which Camera Obscura was made in 2015. The piece explores the sense of isolation and separation within a couple coping with the effects of dementia on their relationship, and expresses the joy of discovering how music can restore not only memories associated with it, but also a sense of connection, and the love the couple have built their life on. Performed at Edinburgh Fringe 2015, Wirksworth Festival 2017, Brighton Fringe 2017. "powerful and compelling work" Critical Dance (full review below)
'Camera Obscura' review by David Mead for Seeing Dance
'Camera Obscura- A Way of Seeing' review by Remote Goat
'Camera Obscura- A Way of Seeing' review by reviewed by The Scotsman’s Kelly Apter
'Camera Obscura- A Way of Seeing' review by ThreeWeeks Edinburgh
Tweets on 'Camera Obscura- A Way of Seeing' from Edinburgh Festival 2017 audience members.