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Described by Dance Aotearoa New Zealand as ‘a creative tour de force’, Loughlan Prior is an award-winning choreographer
and creative director working between stage and screen.

He is the Artistic Director of Lo|Co Arts, Creative Director of Prior-Visual, a project-based film / digital media collective, and Choreographer in Residence at the
Royal New Zealand Ballet.
Head shot
loughlan prior dance

Following his training at the New Zealand School of Dance, Loughlan joined the Royal New Zealand Ballet in 2010 and rose to the rank of Soloist, performing landmark works by Forsythe, Balanchine, Kylián, Cranko and Ekman.

Establishing himself as an emerging voice in 2015, he became the first recipient of the Ballet Foundation of New Zealand’s Harry Haythorne Choreographic Award, and in 2016 received Creative New Zealand’s Tup Lang Award, travelling to Toronto to stage his work at the Assemblée Internationale. Loughlan was appointed RNZB Choreographer in Residence in 2018 and founded Lo | Co Arts, an ensemble of multi-disciplinary artists, in 2019 with composer, artistic collaborator and co-director Claire Cowan.

Prior’s cinematic and unifying approach to music, choreography, concept and visual storytelling is a key feature within his works. Notable productions include Hansel & Gretel (2019, RNZB), The Appearance of Colour (2019, Queensland Ballet), Transfigured Night (2021, Chamber Music New Zealand, BalletCollective Aotearoa), The Firebird (2021, RNZB), Cinderella (2022, RNZB), Half | Life (2022 Lo | Co Arts), The Sound was our Ocean (2022, Singapore Ballet) and Inklings (2022, Ballet Unleashed - Australian Ballet School, New Zealand School of Dance, Canada’s National Ballet School, The Ailey School). 

He has created numerous live and digital works for a diverse range of local Kiwi companies, festivals and creative partners, including Te Papa National Museum, Auckland Arts Festival, Dunedin Arts Festival, Wānaka Festival of Colour, Tempo Festival, iD Fashion Week, Vogue Australia, WGT LUX Light Festival, Zambesi, the New Zealand String Quartet and TV3’s Dancing with the Stars. In 2022 Loughlan was invited as a distinguished graduate to present an evening length programme of five works (Storm Surge, Verse, Curious Alchemy, Time Weaver, Coloratura) for the New Zealand School of Dance performance season.

Under the umbrella PriorVisual, Loughlan has produced a number of dance/art films which have enjoyed screenings at the San Francisco Dance Film Festival, New Zealand International Film Festival, Film Society of Lincoln Center, BalletX Beyond, #60secondsdance Denmark and the Short Film Corner of the Cannes Film Festival.

In 2023 Loughlan will premiere Woman of Words, a new one-act ballet celebrating the life of famed New Zealand writer Katherine Mansfield, and adapt the beloved Australian children's story Possum Magic for the stage, to mark its 40th anniversary. The Royal New Zealand Ballet will tour his critically acclaimed production of Hansel & Gretel across Aotearoa for Christmas
, before the production joins the repertoire of Canada's Alberta Ballet in 2024.

Image: Garth Badger
Image: Isaac Aoki
Image: Ross Brown
Subtle Dances
Image: Sarah Davies
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