Loughlan Prior: A Creative Tour de Force
By Leah Maclean
Dancer, choreographer and filmmaker Loughlan Prior is a force of creative nature. His works have been presented both nationally and internationally by the Royal New Zealand Ballet and the New Zealand School of Dance along with independent projects for fashion shows and film festivals. He has worked extensively and closely with national treasure Sir Jon Trimmer and has, as of recently, worked farther afield.
A Practitioner's Perspective
An interview with Loughlan Prior
A born and bred Aussie, Loughlan Prior made the move across the ditch and has since carved out his own little place in the New Zealand dance scene developing his own choreographic practice. His works have been presented both nationally and internationally by the Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB) and the New Zealand School of Dance (NZSD) along with independent projects for fashion shows and film festivals. His latest work LARK, featuring Sir Jon Trimmer, was presented at the 2017 Tempo Dance Festival to much acclaim.
New Zealand School of Dance: 50th Anniversary Graduation Season
27 November, 2017
by Nina Levy
Comic and stylised, Curious Alchemy, created earlier this year by Loughlan Prior, provided a pleasing change of pace. A neoclassical work set to two string quartets by Beethoven and Saint-Saëns respectively, this quartet for two women and two men has a cartoon-like, almost slapstick aesthetic with its snappy pas de deux and slick duets. Curious Alchemy was performed with charisma at both shows by second year students Jaidyn Cumming, Saul Newport, Clementine Benson and Song Teng.
MICHELLE POTTER... on dancing LARK, Tempo Dance Festival
15 October 2017
Reviewed by Jennifer Shennan
Lark, choreographed by Loughlan Prior, of Royal New Zealand Ballet, performed by Jon Trimmer and William Fitzgerald, proved a masterwork. There’s little surprise in that since Prior has already earned considerable choreographic kudos.
78 year-old Trimmer’s presence on stage, before he even moves a muscles, reeks with the authenticity of a performer who deeply knows how dance works. Fitzgerald moves with a calm clarity that makes virtuosity seem effortless, and his elevation is something to savour.
Suffice to say this piece portraying an older dancer as he sifts memories of dances past, alongside a younger dancer’s questing after the kinds of things that will bring meaning to his future performances, had a poignancy to treasure.
Eikon - Matt Fistonich, March 15, 2015
A kiwi-made short film has been officially accepted into the Short Film Corner of the 2015 Cannes International Film Festival.The film entitled ‘David’ has been produced and directed by Loughlan Prior, a leading artist and choreographer with the Royal New Zealand Ballet. Read more
VOGUE AUSTRALIA - 7th Mar 2017
Photographer Justin Ridler's work is always pushing boundaries, exploring the human body, form and shape through his captivating images, making him a firm Vogue favourite and frequent collaborator.
Now, Ridler has teamed up with New Zealand label Zambesi for an exclusive exhibition, as part of Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival.
Named Entropic, the body of work will showcase Zambesi’s latest autumn/winter collection for both men and women, worn by Royal New Zealand Ballet dancer Loughlan Prior.
“The title of this work ‘Entropic’ describes a fundamental system of nature, in which rising complexity gives way for the most sublime structures known to us. Our galaxy, our consciousness, our languages are all outcomes of entropic systems. These works reflect on this fundamental mechanism. Using that which is simple to create new and increasingly complex forms they are a secular meditation on our collective trajectory,” says Ridler.
The exhibition will be open on Friday the 10th of March from 5.45pm, at Zambessi, 75 Flinders Lane.
TAUMATA: FOUR NEW WORKS
Saturday, 15 October at 8:30pmSunday, 16 October at 6:30pm
Q Theatre - Rangatira - Auckland
NEW ZEALAND HERALD - Wednesday Oct 19, 2016
'The creative excellence and exquisite performance of four new works collectively titled Taumata brought the final weekend of Tempo Dance Festival 2016 to close in fine style.
Capacity audiences in Q Theatre's Rangatira auditorium greeted these works with resounding applause and heartfelt cheers.'
'Laura Jones, William Fitzgerald, Kirby Selchow, Alexandre Ferreira, and Leonora Voigtlander, from the Royal NZ Ballet, danced Loughlan Prior's Eve. This was a series of polished vignettes involving extreme geometries of the limbs and innovative partnering, exploring the power of temptation and the struggle for redemption. Their dancing was set to soaring operatic excerpts, solo piano and spoken poetry, and created an aura of elegance and refinement.'
NEW ZEALAND HERALD - Sunday Oct 2, 2016
Ballet dancer Loughlan Prior hit the Airbnb jackpot in Barcelona but frigid weather in New York caught him unawares. Full article
TEMPO DANCE FESTIVAL - September 30, 2016
Experience stunning new works created by four of New Zealand’s leading choreographers: Loughlan Prior (Royal New Zealand Ballet); Okareka Dance Company’s co-artistic director Taane Mete; Bianca Hyslop and dancers from The New Zealand Dance Company and Sarah Foster-Sproull (Foster Group).
Loughlan Prior (Royal New Zealand Ballet)
This new work examines the power of temptation and the struggle for redemption in a series of short dramatic episodes inspired by the story of the original sin and the architectural form of the human body. With a soundtrack combining music and spoken word, EVE is the departure point for an emotional journey among five dancers. EVE was awarded the inaugural Harry Haythorne Choreographic Award in 2015, presented by the Ballet Foundation of New Zealand.
VIVA Magazine, New Zealand Herald - Danielle Clausen, September 30, 2016
Loughlan Prior has been a member of the Royal New Zealand Ballet for the past seven years as both a dancer and choreographer. His portfolio ranges from main stage works to short films and installation projects, such as a performance on a Z-shaped catwalk for a Zambesi winter 2015 presentation in Wellington.
“My main creative interest is with the potential of choreography, combined with music, to imagine new worlds and proliferate new ideas through physical thinking,” explains Loughlan. “I have a strong affinity with film and dance media integration and have produced a number of works for the stage and screen.”
Calling the ground floor of a converted town house in Mt Victoria home, Loughlan likes living spaces that are minimalist, functional and have lots of light. “I feel more relaxed and creative when I am in a space that reflects a blank canvas.”
This is echoed in the RNZB studio with its enormous window overlooking Wellington’s Courtenay Place — where he spends the majority of his time rehearsing.
Loughlan’s latest work EVE will be performed as part of Auckland’s Tempo Dance Festival running from October 4-16, visit tempo.co.nz for tickets. See full article.
Michelle Potter on Dancing - Jennifer Shennan, September 16, 2015
'Promising young choreographer Loughlan Prior won both the panel’s and the people’s award, with the striking imagery of his work, Eve, set to song and spoken poetry. Loughlan was born in Melbourne though did later training in New Zealand.'
Excerpt: Dance on Camera Festival
Brian Brooks, November 25, 2014
Dance on Camera Unveils Lineup for 43rd Edition
Sashay over to the Film Society of Lincoln Center for the 43rd Dance on Camera festival. The dance-centered film event spotlights a diverse array of narrative, documentary, and experimental features and shorts, including U.S. and New York premieres. Returning to the Film Society for the 19th consecutive year, this year's edition opens January 30 with the U.S. premiere of Meredith Monk's Girlchild Diary.
Jiri Kylian: Forgotten Memories
Don Kent & Christian Dumais-Lvowski, France, 2011, HDCAM, 52m
World-renowned Czech choreographer Jiri Kylian, always a reluctant subject, finally agreed to participate in this film, the only record of his personal history and artistic life. Narrated by Kylian, it covers his school days in Prague, as well as his apprenticeship in London and Stuttgart, where he began his choreographic life. Through interviews shot largely in the Netherlands, home of the Nederlands Dans Theater, which he guided for more than 30 years, and gorgeous excerpts of some of his best-known works, a picture emerges of a singular artist whose vision has inspired dancers and choreographers around the globe. U.S. Premiere
Ryan Fielding & Loughlan Prior, New Zealand, 2013, DCP, 17m
A number of New Zealand Ballet’s prominent dancers create dramatic solos and duets that evoke memories of the past. U.S. Premiere
Friday, January 30, 6:00pm
Express Magazine - Vaughan Meneses, October 3, 2014
Ballet’s Artful Beauty
Vaughan Meneses meets Wellington-based producer, choreographer and ballet dancer Loughlan Prior to discuss his life, loves and passion for dance.
Loughlan Prior is a man on a mission. As I sit with him during his lunch break from the first rehearsal for the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s upcoming season of A Christmas Carol, it is clear that his aspirations go way beyond what we may see on the stage.
The recent film he produced and choreographed, Memory House that featured Sir John Trimmer and colleagues from the Royal New Zealand Ballet, was part of the recent International Film Festival and provides us with a glimpse to his future. Dance for him is, more than anything, a powerful communication tool where the audience is asked to respond in an emotional and visceral way. The narrative of TV dialogue or a good book is not the only way to connect.
“When I go to the theatre I want catharsis, I want to feel something.” He says. I understand what he means, the challenge with art is to remind people that only a small part of communication relies on the single narrative provided by words. As audience members we have the opportunity to be conscious of the ways we can be moved in a way that does not spoon-feed us. It’s in the goose bumps, stir of emotions, laughter, tears and the places we go in worlds without words. Dance asks us to write our own narrative and make our choices about what we experience. Sometimes that choice overwhelms us; at other times it’s beyond our reach and we just don’t get it.
Loughlan is a proponent of bringing the realisations of our own interpretations of the world back into our grasp by combining his commitment for dance and his enthusiasm for exploring different media. His passion for ensuring that the narrative of queer youth in contemporary Aotearoa is something he is determined to represent in his work. His next film project David is in post-production and due for release it early next year. “It uses physicality to explore the tensions between two worlds; a heterosexual life and a homosexual one.” In this work he explores the differences in physicality of relationships and is interested in the, “crossover between the feminine and masculine energies within relationships.”
“For me it’s all about the collaboration, and this city thrives on it and I want to encourage and work with young similar-minded emerging artists.” As a young man in love with life and dance Wellington is his perfect home as it fits splendidly with his long term aspirations as a choreographer and producer. “In this project everyone put in their ideas, we had a melting-pot and then this film came from it.”
He is equally exuberant about the future and direction for the Royal NZ Ballet and the appointment of the new Artistic Director, Francesco Ventriglia, who takes up his role in November. This appointment, alongside the 2015 programme, has sent a buzz of excitement and enthusiasm through the dance community.
We will see a lot of Loughlan on stage in the next year in the RNZB productions of A Christmas Carol, Don Quixote, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the very special and poignant new work Salute – a major collaboration with the NZ Army Band and several composers including Gareth Farr. On top of that for Loughlan, because of the support from the Wallace Arts Trust and the Rule Foundation, we can be sure that through his other work in choreography and film we will have the ability to connect with this proud and focused advocate for dance and voice of movement within our community.
Excerpt: The New Zealand Herald - Raewyn Whyte, Monday Oct 13, 2014
Dance review: Tempo Dance Festival 2014 presents FRESH
Memory House by Royal New Zealand Ballet dancer-choreographer Loughlan Prior and director Ryan Fielding, presents an exquisitely filmed series of encounters between pairs of dancers and one soloist rehearsing in the studio, intercut with sequences of them flitting through the corridors of a large abandoned building. The dancers are a figment in the mind's eye of an elderly composer (Sir Jon Trimmer), caught in the act of reconciling his vision of dancing bodies with the score he is working on.
What: Tempo Dance Festival 2014 presents FRESH
When: Q Theatre Loft
Where: 9 October 8.30pm
Announcement: Tempo Festival 2014
A Fresh Addition to FRESH!
Loughlan Prior joins the lineup
Fresh is just bursting with exciting new choreographers, and now joining the line up of Lizzie Hewitt, Perri Exeter, Kura Te Ua & Hawaiki Tu Productions, Lucy Marinkovich & Anita Hunziker and Paul Wilson & Kayla Paige is Royal New Zealand Ballet dancer Loughlan Prior with his film Memory House.
An emerging choreographer with The Royal New Zealand Ballet, Loughlan joined the company in 2010 after graduating from The New Zealand School of Dance. Since then he has created a number of stage and film works for RNZB, iD Fashion Week, NZSD and The Asian Grand Prix. His love for cinema has also lead him to develop his talent as a dance film maker.
Loughlan brings to Fresh the short film Memory House. Featuring Sir Jon Trimmer and artists of The Royal New Zealand Ballet, Memory House is a combination of surreal circumstance and poignant dance relationships.
Just one more reason to get along to this year's FRESH!
TV 3 NEWS - Dave Goosselink, Saturday 5 Apr 2014
iD Dunedin Fashion Show celebrates 15 years
By Dave Goosselink
The iD Dunedin Fashion Show celebrated its 15th anniversary last night in front of a sold-out crowd at the city's Railway Station.
It showcased some of Dunedin's oldest fashion brands alongside ambitious designs from a mix of up-and-comers.
The show is not quite over for Otago designer Tamsin Cooper and her dancer models. They have been refining their routine ahead of tonight's encore performance at Dunedin's Railway Station.
Cooper collaborated with Royal New Zealand Ballet dancer Loughlan Prior to help launch her range of men's suit jackets last night. Her show also featured a few Otago rugby players who have turned their hand to modelling.
"There's this crazy combination of rugby boys, ballet dancers, clothes racks, models, and you can imagine a lot could have gone wrong, but I'm pretty sure we pulled it off," says Cooper.
Her move into men's fashion was well received, and both the dancers and rugby lads are keen to buy the jackets.
And that is what this show is all about. While many events overseas are aimed at chain store buyers, the focus here is on potential customers.
"Dunedin's is all about retail," says iD Dunedin Fashion Committee chair Susie Staley. "You can see it on the catwalk, you can buy it in the shops."
Staley helps organise the annual fashion week, and is confident the southern show is a trendsetter.
"Certainly our international guests and judges have said there is an eclectic Dunedin style right through from Nom*D, which is that dark look associated with Dunedin, to the Carlson and the Reveley which is lacy, fine clothes," says Staley.
Organisers say the event's future lies in increasing its international exposure, both for the popular runway shows and for the talent in Dunedin.
Excerpt: Dance Informa Magazine - Rain Francis, 2 October 2013
NZ Dance News - October
New Zealand School of Dance students Law Lok Huen (Tirion) and Stefaan Morrow performed as guest artists at the Asian Grand Prix in Hong Kong recently. They accompanied the School’s director Garry Trinder who is president of the jury for the competition and was formerly artistic director of the Hong Kong Ballet. Tirion was born in Hong Kong and won the Asian Grand Prix in 2012, so it was fitting that she return to the competition as a guest.
In the concluding gala of the competition, the two performed the duet First Light, choreographed by NZSD graduate and member of the Royal New Zealand Ballet, Loughlan Prior.