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Subtle Dances

World Premiere        2021 / Bruce Mason Centre

Commissioned by    BalletCollective Aotearoa

                                      Auckland Arts Festival

                                      Dunedin Arts Festival

Choreographer         Loughlan Prior

Composer                  Claire Cowan

Costume Design       William Fitzgerald

Lighting Design        Alan Wilson                                        


Abigail Boyle

Medhi Angot

William Fitzgerald

Tabitha Dombroski

Björn Åslund

Honor Christian-Slane

Callum Phipps

Eloise Moore

Kit Reilly


Amalia Hall Violin

Ashley Brown Cello

Somi Kim Piano

Images: John McDermott

With special thanks to

Turid Revfeim, Brigitte Knight,

Shona McCullagh, Auckland Arts Festival, Charlie Unwin, Dunedin Arts Festival and

Creative New Zealand


Program Notes: Loughlan Prior continues to develop his strong artistic relationship with acclaimed Kiwi composer Claire Cowan. Their new work, Subtle Dances, explores a set of three contrasting atmospheres for piano trio, fused with a synthetic sound-mix. Flirtation, nervousness, exhibitionism, 'peacocking' - the unspoken rituals performed in complex courtship are explored in every note and subtle dance. 


Both sassy and hypnotic, the ballet presents itself as a continually shifting collection of landscapes for human interaction. Inspired by traditional partner dance styles (ballroom and latin dance), the work slowly devolves into a physical language all its own, where the lines of gender and sexuality are erased. 

Subtle Dances

A definitive and unique style that reflects a contemporary ethos is definitely apparent in the performance of Loughlan Prior’s Subtle Dances, a work reflecting the rituals of courtship and touching on the ambivalence of gender fluidity. - Theatre Review

The work explores and explodes with themes of gender blurring—swirls of hot tango as the boys and girls and boys come out to play. It is saucy, spicy, dark and compelling. - Michelle Potter…on Dancing

Prior jigsaws together steps from a variety of eras and styles with queer mischief - DANZ

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