Loughlan Prior is an award winning Aussie/Kiwi choreographer, fusing both classical and contemporary dance to construct narrative and virtuosic performance works.
He is the Choreographer in Residence at the ROYAL NEW ZEALAND BALLET and the Creative Director of PRIOR VISUAL, a project based film collective.

Born in Melbourne, Australia, Loughlan is a graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School and the New Zealand School of Dance. His choreographic work began as early as his first school years where he received the Warrandyte Youth Arts Award for promising emerging talent. 


He joined the Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB) in 2010 and rose to the rank of soloist, performing works by William Forsythe, Jiří Kylián, George Balanchine, Val Caniparoli, Javier De Frutos, Jorma Elo, Alexander Ekman, Penny Saunders, Cameron McMillan, Daniel Belton, Benjamin Millepied, Larry Keigwin, and Sarah Foster-Sproull.


While pursuing a performance career he also developed a choreographic practice with the company, creating several short works (EVE, The Long and the Short of it, Geiger, LARK, Ideale) which the RNZB took on their ‘Tutu’s on Tour’ national touring programme. In 2015 Loughlan was awarded the Harry Haythorne Choreographic Award by the Ballet Foundation of New Zealand and  created a debut pas de deux to feature on TV3 ‘Dancing with the Stars.’


In 2016 he received the Tup Lang Choreographic Award from Creative New Zealand and travelled to Toronto to stage his work Curious Alchemy at the Assemblée Internationale. In 2017 he created They/Them for Grand Rapids Ballet and Mosaik for the Palucca Hochschule für Tanz Dresden.


In 2018 Loughlan was appointed as the Choreographer in Residence at the RNZB under the artistic direction of Patricia Barker. He premiered Hansel and Gretel, his first full length production for the company, in 2019 with a specially commissioned score by New Zealand composer Claire Cowan and designs by legendary stage and film creative Kate Hawley. In 2019 he was also commissioned by Queensland Ballet to create a one act work The Appearance of Colour for the companies innovative Bespoke programme. 

In 2020 Loughlan will create new works for Royal New Zealand Ballet, Singapore Dance Theatre, Queensland Ballet, Palucca Hochschule für Tanz Dresden, New Zealand School of Dance and Ballet Collective Aotearoa.


With the generous support of Creative New Zealand, Loughlan and composer Claire Cowan will spearhead Lo | Co Arts, a newly formed creative ensemble, devoted to the seamless connection of choreographic and compositional practice. 


Prior is also passionate about capturing dance on film. In 2014 he initiated PRIOR VISUAL, a project based film collective, to further his fascination with dance and film integration. His film works include Memory House, Genome, Outlier, Toi Art, David, Ghost Girl, The Horizon from Owhiro Bay and Stray Finer Sage.

Memory House premiered at the New Zealand International Film Festival in 2014, later screening at the Film Society of Lincoln Centre's Dance on Camera Festival in 2015. DAVID, a collaborative production between the Royal New Zealand Ballet and leading New Zealand fashion house Zambesi, premiered at the Short Film Corner of the Cannes Film Festival in 2015. 

Outlier, a project in collaboration with Melbourne artist Andrew Treloar, received second prize in the Danish #60secondsdance film competition in 2017. Genome, in collaboration with visual artist Max Patté and cinematographer Jeremy Brick, was featured in Wellington's LUX Festival and screened at the San Fransisco Dance Film Festival in 2016. 


The Horizon from Owhiro Bay, created in 2018, takes its title from New Zealand composer Gareth Farr's piano work of the same name and features Canadian-born RNZB dancer Sara Garbowski and New Zealand dancer Harrison James, Principal at the The National Ballet of Canada.​​ Toi Art was created in collaboration with Te Papa Museum to launch the new National Gallery Collection in 2018.

A constantly working mind with a burning passion for creation

 - Dance Aotearoa New Zealand

A display of  complex partnering, precision and confidence

- Dance Europe

Loaded with choreographic energy and ideas 

- MichellePotter.org 

Snappy pas de deux, and slick duets

- Dance Australia 

Prior is certainly a name to watch

- Lucire, NZ

Images: Isaac Aoki, Garth Badger
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