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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

After graduating from the New Zealand School of Dance, Loughlan joined the Royal New Zealand Ballet and rose to the rank of soloist, enjoying a decade long career with the company and performing landmark works by Forsythe, Balanchine, Kylián and Ekman.


He was the inaugural recipient of the Ballet Foundation of New Zealand’s Harry Haythorne Choreographic Award in 2015 and received Creative New Zealand’s Tup Lang Award in 2016, traveling to Toronto to stage his work at the Assemblée Internationale. In 2018 he was appointed RNZB Choreographer in Residence and in 2019 he founded Lo|Co Arts, a project based collective with artistic collaborator Claire Cowan.


Prior’s cinematic and unifying approach to music, concept, and visual design are key features within his work. Hailed as ‘a master storyteller’ his full length productions include Hansel & Gretel (2019, 2023 RNZB) Cinderella (2022, RNZB), Half | Life (2022, Lo|Co Arts) and Possum Magic (2023, Australian Ballet School).


His notable one-act works include The Long and the Short of It (2018, RNZB), The Appearance of Colour (2019, Queensland Ballet), Transfigured Night (2021, BalletCollective Aotearoa), Ultra Violet (2021, RNZB), The Firebird (2021, RNZB), Subtle Dances (2021, BalletCollective Aotearoa) The Sound was our Ocean (2022, Singapore Ballet) and Woman of Words (2023, RNZB).


Loughlan has created numerous live and digital works for a diverse range of commercial companies, festivals and creative partners, including Te Papa National Museum, Chamber Music New Zealand, Auckland Arts Festival, Wānaka Festival of Colour, iD Fashion Week, Vogue Australia, WGT LUX Light Festival, Zambesi, New Zealand String Quartet and TV3’s Dancing with the Stars. In 2022 he was invited 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 as a distinguished graduate.


Under the umbrella PRIOR VISUAL, 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. His short film Inklings, created in 2022 with producers Ballet Unleashed (featuring Canada’s National Ballet School, The Australian Ballet School, New Zealand School of Dance and The Ailey School), received first prize at the Berlin Filmhaus Awards.

In 2024 Loughlan’s acclaimed production of Hansel & Gretel enters the repertoire of both Alberta Ballet and Oregon Ballet Theatre. He will also create new works for PRIOR VISUAL and for Philadelphia based contemporary-ballet company BalletX, exploring the Macaroni scandal of 1772.

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