Darren is now established working as an international choreographer in theatre and opera, as dance consultant to the National Theatre and Old Vic Theatre in London, and as drama councillor for the Laban Guild for Movement and Dance. Darren is associate tutor at RADA, teaching movement, dance and choreography, and with Nonsuch has produced a new publication with Methuen Drama "DRAMATIC DANCE: AN ACTOR'S APPROACH TO DANCE AS A DRAMATIC ART."
Darren received his initial dance training at The Katrina Hughes School of Dance and Theatre Art in Yorkshire. Following courses and performances with the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain, working with director Edward Wilson and choreographers David Toguri and Imogen Claire, he studied at Queens ' College, Cambridge, graduating with a BA ( Hons ) in English Literature in 1994 researching the dance forms in Shakespeare’s plays for his final dissertation.
At Cambridge he began developing his choreographic and directing skills in productions and events such as Babes in Arms and Fiddler on the Roof with Sacha Baron Cohen (Ali G) as Tevye, a sell out extended run of Grease, SEXPO : a charity variety show produced by Matthew Mitchell at the Cambridge Corn Exchange with Stephen Fry and 200 University students, and the University Fashion Show in aid of Barnados with Yasmin le Bon, directed by Claudia Winkleman. Resident choreographer for the Cambridge Footlights, he worked with Robert Webb and David Mitchell (Peepshow) on the national touring revue shows.
He subsequently gained an M.A. in Dance Studies at the Laban Centre for Movement and Dance in London (LABAN) developing his choreographic experience, studying Visual Design (Lighting/Set/Costume), exploring theories of movement relevant for the actor and singer; taking his work to the Edinburgh Fringe and The Place and gaining a Distinction for his work at the Laban Centre. He continues his studies, undertaking a PhD exploring the Laban concepts of movement, organising international conferences for the European Association of Dance Historians and conducting his own research into historical dance; the most recent results of which were seen in a lecture series Dance and Art at the National Gallery, London.
His theatre credits are many and varied. Much of his early work was with opera companies, which developed his interest in period movement and led to him receiving the Bonnie Bird Choreography Award, and the Lisa Ullman Scholarship to further his work in dance and opera. This research has led to a project involving opera singers, dancers and actors that was developed at the BAC, London. He has worked on productions for Opera Holland Park, English Touring Theatre, European Chamber Opera, Music Theatre London and the Royal Opera House Linbury Studio in the UK; and internationally in Norway, Iceland, the USA with Columbia Artists management, throughout Europe, Middle East and Asia. He choreographed the UK premiere of Anyone Can Whistle at the Bridewell Theatre, Merrily We Roll Along (Greenwich), Assassins (Landor, with transfer to Bermuda Festival) and Into the Woods, Guys and Dolls and Little Women for RADA, where he is currently a visiting tutor and choreographer.
Most recent credits include Much Ado about Nothing for the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, La Bohème for Battersea Dogs Home, Romeo and Juliet, Under Milk Wood and Private Lives for Cunard Cruises (REL) and a full length performance, Love’s Proper Exercise, for Nonsuch. Forthcoming work includes Alice in Wonderland for the Christmas season at The Castle, Wellingborough.
With experience at the National TV & Film School and the New York Film Academy, on screen he has worked for the BBC, Carlton TV and Granada on a number of TV dramas and children's TV series, including The Armstrong and Miller Show, Blue Peter, Welcome to Orty Fou, Restoration Supersize me! Murder in Suburbia and The Last Detective. His film credits include the Mike Leigh film Vera Drake and Wide Blue Yonder with Lauren Bacall, James Fox and Brian Cox. His work can also be seen in the recent Rufus Wainwright Music Video: Rules And Regulations.
As Artistic Director of Nonsuch History & Dance, his teaching and performance work takes him the length and breadth of the country, working with heritage sites such as Ham House (National Trust) on living history events, museums such as the Geffrye Museum for community dance workshops, working in Seville for the residential Summer School and leading regular classes in period dance at the Central school of Ballet and Morley College. Under his
directorship, Nonsuch has developed special events for the Reform Club (the Victorian Crystal Ball), worked with partnership organisations such as the Royal Shakespeare Company and the London Festival of Architecture to create unique dance events and produced full scale theatrical performances at St John’s Smith Square.
For a full list of credits please see Darren's website at www.darrenroyston.com