Loughlan Prior

Loughlan Prior Loughlan Prior. Photo credit: Stephen A’Court. COPYRIGHT ©Stephen A’Court

Described by Dance Aotearoa New Zealand as ‘a creative tour de force’, Loughlan Prior is a multi-award-winning choreographer of stage and screen works in New Zealand and internationally. He is the Artistic Director of Lo|Co Arts and the Creative Director of Prior Visual, a project-based film collective.

After graduating from the New Zealand School of Dance in 2009, Loughlan joined the Royal New Zealand Ballet and rose to the rank of Soloist, performing landmark works by William Forsythe, Jiri Kylián, Alexander Ekman and Sarah Foster-Sproull.

He began to develop a choreographic practice alongside his performance career and distinguished himself as a considerable talent in 2015, when he became the first recipient of the Ballet Foundation of New Zealand’s Harry Haythorne Choreographic Award. Prior was awarded Creative New Zealand’s Tup Lang Choreographic Award in 2016 and travelled to Toronto to stage his work at the Assemblée Internationale in 2017.

Loughlan was appointed as Choreographer in Residence with the Royal New Zealand Ballet in 2018.

In 2019, Loughlan retired from a full-time performance career, becoming a Principal Character Artist with the RZNB, and premiered the highly acclaimed Hansel and Gretel, his first full length production. The ballet included designs by stage and screen icon Kate Hawley and a specially commissioned score by composer Claire Cowan, co-creator of LolCo Arts and Prior’s long-time artistic partner.

In the same year, Loughlan created The Appearance of Colour for Queensland Ballet’s Bespoke programme and delivered creative masterclasses to dance communities across New Zealand and Australia.

Loughlan holds choreographic relationships with the Royal New Zealand Ballet, Queensland Ballet, BalletX, Singapore Dance Theatre, Grand Rapids Ballet, Ballet Collective Aotearoa, Chamber Music New Zealand, New Zealand School of Dance, Palucca Hochschule für Tanz Dresden and the New Zealand Youth Ballet.

His works have been presented in New Zealand, Australia, Germany, the United States, Denmark and Canada and he has created numerous live and digital works for a diverse range of local Kiwi companies and creative partners, including Te Papa National Museum, iD Fashion Week, Vogue Australia, WGT LUX Light Festival, Tempo Festival, Zambesi, the New Zealand String Quartet and TV3’s Dancing with the Stars.

Loughlan’s dance films have enjoyed screenings at the New Zealand International Film Festival, the Film Society of Lincoln Center, BalletX Beyond, #60secondsdance Denmark, San Francisco Dance Film Festival and the Short Film Corner of the Cannes Film Festival.