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John Darvell - digital adventures in dance.

Updated: Dec 18, 2023

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Welcome John Darvell.


Introducing John Darvell, the visionary choreographer and Artistic Director of NOCTURN, a dance company that stands at the forefront of innovation in dance and participatory art.


With a passion for disrupting norms and pushing boundaries, John has made a name for himself by co-creating interactive digital dance adventures that showcase the extraordinary talents of later-life dancers.


Mark had the pleasure of meeting John and learning about his work. You can watch his Arts and Culture Hot Top 10, their hot potato debate, and This or That game below.

Established in 2007 under John's leadership, NOCTURN has consistently championed an alternative approach to accessible dance, leveraging film, social media, multimedia storytelling, and live installations. Central to their work is a commitment to involving and impacting local communities, placing people's lived experiences at the heart of the creative process.


John's hot potato - Less is more.


A true advocate for the underrepresented sector of adult dance, John Darvell and NOCTURN are embarking on a new journey in Scotland, focusing on celebrating the unique talents that later-life dancers bring to storytelling. Their projects delve into the realms of mental health, LGBTQ+ experiences, and immersive dance, all while seamlessly incorporating contemporary and interactive elements.

In John's artistic provocations, the exploration of mental well-being and promotion of LGBTQ+ heritage take centre stage. The company's innovative use of everyday technology invites audiences to engage with dance and movement in a way that is both accessible and thought-provoking.


John's arts and culture Hot Top 10


John Darvell's personal journey reflects resilience and determination. A gay man from a working-class background in the North East, John faced the harshness of school bullying during childhood. Despite overcoming educational challenges, he took a courageous leap in his late 30s, leaving behind office job security to pursue a full career change in contemporary dance at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.

Incorporating aesthetics from his background as a visual designer, John has developed a distinctive approach to choreography and immersive experiences. Over 15 years of community and school outreach work, he has inspired and empowered individuals of all ages. From teaching at prestigious institutions like Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance to contributing articles for renowned publications, John's impact on the dance community is profound.


This or That game


As NOCTURN continues to evolve, John's creative and personal journey remains a constant force, navigating the highs and lows with unwavering dedication to avant-garde storytelling and the belief that everyone, regardless of size or role, plays a vital part in the creative process.


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