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D A R R E N   R O Y S T O N



Choreography… Direction… Performance…Opera…Musicals… Theatre…Television… Film…Radio…Drama… Dance…Acting… Laban…Dance Historian… Researcher… Etiquette Advisor…


Teacher… Instructor… Coach… Consultant…

Presenting  “D A N C I N G   D A R R E N”

K'antu Ensemble with Darren Royston performing at the Winchfield Festival 2018

Tim & Simon Learn How To Dance Like An Elizabethan

with Darren Royston | Sunday Brunch


The Bartered Bride Garsington Opera (Director : Paul Curran) 
Choreographer : Darren Royston




Masters and Bachelors degrees: 

M.A. Dance Studies with Distinction (Laban), M.A. / B.A. (Hons) English Literature (Cantab)


Paradance UK: Inclusive Dance Instructor certificate (with Merit)


DBS: Basic certificate 00094101902 ID: P0001QCLZJ (02/082019)

Education & Training


I have always been involved in the performing arts, joining the profession playing an urchin in Lionel Bart’s musical Oliver! I then trained as an actor / dancer / musical theatre performer, becoming a professional director / choreographer / movement director, and then sharing my experience as a teacher in drama schools in London, the UK and internationally. I became a specialist in movement for actors, based on the work of Rudolf Laban, and an expert in dance research, in particular historical dances used in actor training. My first formal dance training was in tap for musical theatre, and as a choreographer I continued to learn jazz, ballet, folk, ballroom, contemporary and many diverse dance styles as productions required – as bizarre as the Icelandic Viki-Vaki, and as exotic as Cambodian Khmer court dance!


Undergraduate & Postgraduate Degrees:


1994- 1996: Trinity Laban (Laban Centre for Movement & Dance): MA (with Distinction) in Dance Studies. (Dr. Marion North scholarship studentship). Choreography, Choreological Studies, Dance Notation, Visual Design for Dance, Dance History, Sociology & Politics in Dance. Dissertation study: The Dancer in Opera Performance.

Assistant Choreography placements with Gillian Lynne (TV), Stuart Hopps (ENO), Sue Lefton (RSC), Michael Keegan-Dolan (ENO), Jane Gibson (BBC), Geraldine Stephenson (Royal Albert Hall: Viennese Dancing)


1991 – 1994: Queens’ College, Cambridge University: BA (Hons) in English Literature. Acting & Directing plays, musicals, opera including Shakespeare, new writing, poetry & dance performance evenings. Director / Choreographer: Patience (Gilbert & Sullivan: Cambridge Corn Exchange). Comedy choreography Footlights (Robert Webb, David Mitchell, Sacha Baron Cohen.) Director / Choreographer: West Side Story, Edinburgh Festival (5 Star Review in Scotsman).


Postgraduate Research:


Birkbeck College, London:

Research programme 2017: Renaissance Astrology & Dance (English Literature : Poetry of John Davies, Dance in Shakespeare) [Supervision: Professor Stephen Clucas & Dr Michael Dobson (Shakespeare Institute)]

Trinity Laban (Laban Centre for Movement & Dance), City University, London
Research programme 2005 : Architecture & Laban’s Choreutics Theory (Spatial Affinities)
[Supervision: Dr Jeffrey Longstaff & Dr Ana Sanchez Colberg]


2001 Motus Humanus scholarship, Minnesota University, Minneapolis, USA

Practical Training with Carol-Lynne Moore & Warren Lamb: Laban Action Profiling. 


Professional Development Courses:


March 2019. Inclusive Dance Training Instructor (with merit), Paradance UK. Inclusive dance: physical disability, wheelchair users, visual and hearing impairments, elderly, young, mental disabilities. Creating dance performance for charity fundraising for LimbPower UK.


1997 – 2019 Laban Guild for Movement & Dance: annual summer schools

Anna Carlisle (Space Harmony), Ann Hutchinson-Guest (Notation), Ali Curtis-Jones (Laban Re-imagined & Motif Writing)


1999 Bonnie Bird International Choreography Award Winner (musical theatre & opera) supported by opera / theatre / film choreographer Stuart Hopps.


1997 Lisa Ullman Travelling Scholarship:  Dance research training (Medieval Sagnadans) with Sigridur Valgeirsdottir, Reykjavik, Iceland

1996 – 2005 Graduate Assistant to Peggy Dixon, Nonsuch History & Dance


Early Dance Circle independent dance history training workshops:

Nira Pullin (Wayne State University, USA), Cathy Bodner (Rhode Island College, USA)

Bengt Hager (Stockholm Dance Museum), Barbara Segal (Baroque Dance), Philippa Waite (Danse Noble), Anne Daye (Stuart Masque), Diana Scrivener (Historical Dance for Actors), Hazel Denison (15th & 16th century Italian Dance), Jennifer Nevile (Renaissance Dance), Julia Sutton (USA), Barbara Sparti (Italian Dancing Masters).


Restoration Etiquette: Modes & Manners

Jack Edwards (Drama Studio London)


Baroque Dance, Guildhall School of Music & Dance, London:

Dr. Madeleine Inglehearn (Professor of Early Dance)


Commedia del’arte & Pantomime classes:

Dr. Giannandrea Poesio (19th century balletic mime), Barry Grantham (commedia & clowning: Joseph Grimaldi, Sadlers Wells Theatre), Tivoli Pantomime company, Copenhagen, Denmark (SDR Residency London)

UNESCO International Dance Council: World Dance Congress, Athens:

Ancient Dance Forms Greek Dance (Professor Alkis Rafkis, Dora Stratou Theatre, Athens), University of Athens: Sophocles Satyr Plays research (Professor Yangos Andreadis)


Spanish Historical Dance & Castanets:

Ana Yepes, Maria Jose Ruiz, Diana Campoo, Carlos Blanco


European Association of Dance Historians & Oxford Dance Symposium: study days

Ancient Greek Chorus (Professor Frederick Naerebout, Leiden University), Spanish Dance at Sevilla Conservatory of Dance (Jane Gingell), Feuillet-Beauchamp notations (Dr. Ricardo Baros, Moira Goff, Jennifer Thorpe)


Preliminary & Higher Education:


1989 – 1991: National Youth Theatre of Great Britain (including working with choreographers Imogen Claire & David Toguri). Production of Lionel Bart’s musical Blitz! at The Playhouse, West End London. Backing dancer for Elton John / Dame Edna Everage.


1986 – 1991: Katrina Hughes School of Dance & Theatre Arts, Harrogate (Tap, Ballet, Jazz, Speech & Drama). Touring as dancer to USSR, Germany, Austria, USA. Examinations to Advanced Level in Tap Dancing (M.B.B.O. Adv)


1990 Harrogate International Drama Festival: Winner of Shakespeare solo acting award.

(Shylock, The Merchant of Venice)


1988 - 1990 St. Aidan’s & St. John Fisher Associated Sixth Form, Harrogate

(A Levels: English Literature (A), French (A), History (E), General Studies (A). S- Level English Literature (1).)

Playing lead role Kipps in Half A Sixpence and Frederic in Pirates of Penzance


1983 – 1988 St. Aidan’s Church of England High School, Harrogate

O-Level: Chemistry (B). GCSE : English (A), Maths (A), English Literature (A), History (A), Music (A), Religious Studies (A), French (A), German (A), Physics (B), Biology (B)

Performing in professional production of Oliver! at Harrogate Theatre directed by Mark Piper and Shakespeare’s Othello at Harrogate Theatre, and many school plays and house


Training in Music:

Theory of Music (Grade 8 Distinction)

Piano (Grade 8), Viola (Grade 5), Recorders (Renaissance music), Percussion

Singing (Musical Theatre and Choral: Queens’ College Choir)

Basic Conducting




Employment History:


My work as a director /  choreographer / performer / teacher has taken me around the world, and I have enjoyed working in different cultural contexts, now as a member of the UNESCO International Dance Council.  I believe performing arts can bring all people together, acknowledging cultural differences while also sharing a common humanity. I love the fact that the performing arts requires me to work with many different people, each having their own unique experience, with things to share and explore creatively.


Performing Arts Teaching work 1999 – 2018


Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), London. (1999-2018):

Associate Tutor in Movement & Dance: Teaching Historical Dance, Period Movement, Laban Movement for Actors, Musical Theatre on all courses:

BA (Hons) in Acting, MA Lab & MA Text and Performance, Foundation in Acting, Specialist Courses, Short Courses including Shakespeare courses, Musical Theatre, European Greats – Ibsen & Chekhov and Movement Support on productions with graduating students :

Choreography & Movement:

Shakespeare productions: Hamlet, Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Nights Dream, Romeo & Juliet, As You Like It, Titus Andronicus, Two Gentleman of Verona, Coriolanus, Henry V, Henry VIII, Macbeth, The Tempest, Pericles, The Winter’s Tale, Julius Caesar, Anthony & Cleopatra, Love’s Labours Lost, Much Ado About Nothing, King John, Richard II, Richard III, Timon of Athens, Alls Well That Ends Well, Comedy of Errors, Measure for Measure, Merchant of Venice, Taming of the Shrew, Cymbeline, Othello, Troilus & Cressida, King Lear

Musical Theatre full productions : Into the Woods, High Society, Sweet Charity, Guys & Dolls, Assassins, Saturday Night by Stephen Sondheim (starring Taron Egerton), Poppy by Peter Nichols, directed by Tim Luscombe

Drama: A Mouthful of Birds by Caryl Churchill directed by Che Walker, On the Razzle (Tom Stoppard), Pillar’s of Society & A Doll’s House (Ibsen), and Machinal.

Short Courses on movement, dance, clown, commedia, physical theatre.

Foundation for Acting: developed dance syllabus Social Dance / Show Dance / Historical Dance / Dance related to Genres and Acting styles

MA Text & Performance: Language of the Body (Laban, Historical, Devising, Choreography, Movement for Actors)

MA Lab (Laban Training: Choreutic : Spatial Harmony and Eukinetic : Expressive Movement, Ensemble work, Musical Theatre project choreography, Staging song)

Acting Shakespeare (8 Week Course): the Arts of Shakespeare, Sonnets and Song, choreography of studio productions

Summer School: Shakespeare, Musical Theatre, Young People, Contemporary,

Musical Theatre short courses: Choreographer: Snoopy the Musical, Green Lilac, Stephen Sondheim’s Anyone Can Whistle, musical scenes and numbers from Sweeney Todd, Oklahoma!, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Cabaret, Chicago

Ibsen/Chekhov course : 19th century national forms of dance and social etiquette, Tarantella, Mazurka & Drama on the Dance Floor.

NYU / Tisch / Case Western associated courses: movement / dance


Artistic Director : Nonsuch History and Dance (2005 - 2019). Teaching dance, workshops, in universities, colleges and summer schools. Educational charity and professional performing company using historical dance combined with schools projects, in historical locations, festivals, theatres. Dance of the Deadly Sins funded by Arts Council of England, touring to Leeds & York (National Centre for Early Music). National Film Theatre education department -  celebrating Jane Austen – dance and drama workshops alongside the films including Pride & Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Clueless (based on Emma). Teaching Workshops for Sadlers Wells Theatre Elders company. University of Surrey, MA programme. BBC 4 Television series Dancing Cheek to Cheek. At National Gallery, London and NADFAS UK presenting Dance in Art, with Sian Walters. Now trained in INSCLUSIVE DANCE the company will begin events for those with disabilities and wheelchair users.



University of West London, London College of Music: (2017 - 2018) Musical Theatre BA (Hons) degree : Dance & Movement Studies Tutor (Laban approach to physical character, Movement for Actors, Choreographer graduate productions of Fiddler on the Roof, Rags (by Stein, Schwartz, Strouse).


Drama Studio London.  (2010 - 2018): Dance Teacher of Period Dance workshops: Restoration Theatre projects on 1 & 2 year Acting degrees.


Cambridge School of Visual & Performing Arts (2015 – 2017): Teacher of Dance workshops on Historical Dance, Laban & Choreography.


Rose Bruford College of Theatre & Performance: Teacher of Movement for Actors (Laban & Expressive)


The Science of Acting, Kogan Academy: Teacher of Historical Dance Exploration


National Film & Television School, New York Film Academy: Actor Movement, Period Dance, Dance for Camera.



ECHO Education:

Musical Theatre Workshop programmes- resident in the school for one week of training and rehearsal to final performance.

The Magic Jellicle Flute: CATS & THE MAGIC FLUTE

Man with a Mission: DON QUIXOTE in opera and musical theatre


Employment 2018 - 2020


December 2019 – January 2020: Director / Choreographer, A Trip Down Broadway, Saga Cruises, Spirit of Discovery. Musical Director: Tom Wakeley.


November 2019 Dancing Master, Beaconhouse Yamsaard International School, Bangkok, Thailand. SCA (Thailand): Historical dance & drama project.


October 2019: Actor & Workshop Leader, Hamlet (Shakespeare), Adaptivity Theatre Company, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia. Directed by Kelly Wilson.

Playing: Polonius (and Player as Lucianus).

Workshop leader: Historical Dance at Melissa Wilmer School of Theatrical Dancing, Launceston, Tasmania.


September 2019: Dance Consultant, Murder in the Cathedral (T.S. Eliot), Scena Mundi, directed by Cecila Istria-Dorland. UK Cathedral Tour: Southwark, Guildford, Oxford Church of St Mary’s. Site-specific with community chorus.


August 2019: Guest Tutor, The Laban Guild Summer School, University of Bedfordshire, Bedford. The Renaissance Masque of Leonardo da Vinci “Festa del Paradiso”, recreated using Laban’s modes of movement.


July 2019: Dance Tutor, Nonsuch Historical Dance Summer School, Sanquhar, SCOTLAND including community dance with Dancexercise.


June 2019: Movement Director, Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare), Adaptivity Theatre, The Cockpit Theatre, London, directed by Kelly Wilson.


May – June 2019: Choreographer, The Bartered Bride (Smetana), Garsington Opera, UK. 5-star reviewed production, directed by Paul Carran, with dancing chorus and circus troupe. (PLEASE SEE APPENDIX: REVIEWS)


April – September 2019: Choreographer & Movement Director, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare), The Lord Chamberlain’s Men, UK National Tour, France, Germany. Directed by Peter Stickney, Production respecting original practice.


March - May 2019: Movement & Choreographer, The Workshop – a new musical, Thailand Cultural Centre, Bangkok


October – March 2019: Visiting Professor of Performing Arts, Mahidol University, Bangkok

Director & Choreographer: FAME the musical.

Dance Teaching: Musical Theatre & Tap Dance, Laban Movement for Actors.

Historical Dance (Historical Dance Forms workshops for Music department).


October 2018: Director / Choreographer, Grand Opera Thailand: Die Fledermaus (Johann Strauss Operetta), Chom Dong Villa Stage, Hua Hin, Thailand


May – June 2018: Choreographer, Opera North, Berlin to Broadway, 2018, directed by Giles Havergal, musical director Martin Pickard. Musical theatre cabaret show using the music and drama of Kurt Weill, in association with West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds at City Varieties.


May – September 2018: Choreographer & Movement Director, The Tempest (Shakespeare), The Lord Chamberlain’s Men []


Director / Choreographer / Movement Director / Dance Consultant :


Freelance Credits 1997 - 2020


Musical Theatre

Drector / Choreographer: Freek Street, by Alex Poulton, at The Station Theatre, Hayling Island

Director / Choreographer: In Gay Company, by Fred Silver, at The Jermyn Street Theatre, London

Co-director & choreographer: Terje Vigen, Musical version of Ibsen epic poem, Kristiansand Theatre, Norway

Director / Choreographer: Day After Day, play with music about Doris Day, RADA Studios

Co-director & choreographer: HONK! (musical with community element), Hallo Adjo (play with music), Helter! (musical), Amanda fra Haugesund (biographical musical theatre) Haugesund Teater

Choreographer, Houdini, directed by Wayne Harrison, Reykjavik City Theatre

Choreographer: Alice in Wonderland by Paul Boyd, Wellingborough Theatre

Choreographer: Merrily We Roll Along, Stephen Sondheim,The Landor Theatre, London

Director / Choreographer: West Side Story, Edinburgh Festival production



Dance Consultant, National Theatre, London (She Stoops to Conquer, directed by Jamie Lloyd)

Dance Consultant, Old Vic Theatre, London (Duchess of Malfi, directed by Jamie Lloyd)

Movement Director, The Island, new play. Kristiansand Teater, Norway

Movement Coach: Harvey, starring James Dreyfus and Maureen Lipman, directed by Lindsay Posner (2015). London West End production.

Choreographer: English Touring Theatre. (Director : Stephen Unwin) The Cherry Orchard. Educational projects with Erica Whyman, including independent productions at Southwark Playhouse.

Choreographer: Aladdin Windsor Theatre Royal directed by Mark Piper.

Movement Director: Scena Mundi productions include Everyman, Love Metamorphosed (John Lyly), Edward II, Richard III.

Movement Director: Naked with Man or Burger (Sarah-Stephanie Skjoldevik), The White Bear Theatre, London



Choreographer / Movement: The Lord Chamberlain’s Men, UK Touring: (11 years)

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest, The Comedy of Errors, Romeo & Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing, Macbeth, Twelfth Night, As You Like It.

Choreographer / Movement: Twelfth Night (Norwegian) Haugesund Theatre, Norway



Choreographer: Queen of the Desert (Feature film starring Nicole Kidman, directed by Werner Herzog) (2015).

Choreographer: Wide Blue Yonder directed by Robert Young, starring Lauren Bacall, James Fox, Brian Cox. (choreographing group scenes, tango scene with Ms Bacall and Mr Fox, and the hornpipe for Mr Cox)



Choreographer: ITV Home Fires, Back in Time for the Weekend, Alan Titchmarch Show, Fern Britton, Orty Fou, Blue Peter

TV presenting: Dancing Cheek to Cheek, appearing as the Dancing Master leading the dance classes with Len Goodman & Lucy Worsley (BBC)


Corporate Training / Events

RADA Entreprises, Cunard P&O, Cabaret, Corporate Training with Performing Arts (Les Miserables, Moulin Rouge, Circus – The Greatest Showman, Silent Movie) with Tom Wakeley (Chicago, London’s West End)

Theatre director / Co-director / movement for Cunard / P&O cruises: Importance of Being Earnest, Romeo & Juliet, Much Ado, Gilbert & Sullivan, Hollywood Musicals.



Presenter, The Early Music Show, BBC Radio 3.



Choreographer: CFA Circus Federation Award for Acro-balance act at Zippo’s Circus

Assistant Choreographer: Legoland Circus Tent, Windsor



Choreographer: Garsington Opera, The Bartered Bride (Smetana)

Choreographer: Opera North, Berlin to Broadway (Kurt Weill)

Resident Director: Grand Opera Thailand, Bangkok

Director / Choreographer: Siam Opera Bangkok.

Carmen, La Boheme, Thais (Massenet)

Director: Pop Up Opera (UK productions in weird and wonderful locations from barns, tunnels, pubs, in the workplace), Don Pasquale, L’Elisir D’Amore, Rita (Donizetti), La Serva Padrona (Pergolesi), Die Entfuhrung aus dem Sarail (Mozart), Le Docteur Miracle (Bizet), Cosi Fan Tutte (Mozart)

Choreographer: European Chamber Opera (international touring), Trouble in Tahiti (Bernstein), Carmen, The Barber of Seville (new English translation), La Traviata, Rigoletto, Tosca, Hugo Wolf, Don Pasquale, La Boheme, Magic Flute, Die Fledermaus, Madam Butterfly. Performing internationally (UAE, Dubai, Malaysia, France, Italy, Spain, Corfu)

Choreographer: Holland Park Opera: Lucia di Lammermoor

Choreographer: Die Fledermaus, Haugesund Opera, Norway

Co-director & Movement: The Little Prince (Royal Opera Linbury Studio) with community from the Shelter (Homeless participants)

Staff Director, The Merry Widow, Columbia Artist Management, USA Tour (26 states, 4 month tour).

Director /Choreographer: Proserpina (music by Will Todd), Battersea Arts Centre

Director / Choreographer: Acis & Galatea (Handel), The Coffee Cantata (Bach) Battersea Arts Centre

Choreographer: The Spanish Lady (Elgar), Cambridge University Music Auditorium


Music video

Performer, On Video, Past Tense (2019)

Choreographer, Rufus Wainwright, Rules and Regulations


Employment History pre-1996

John Lewis Partnership, Oxford Street, London (Sales Assistant – Customer Collection Point for Seasonal Promotions)

Taylors Tea & Coffee / Bettys Café Tea Rooms (Administrative Assistant and entertainment choreographer responsible for Summer Ball “The Taylors Sailors”)

Boots the Chemist, Harrogate, North Yorkshire (Sales Assistant – Christmas entertainer: Snowman)

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