The Royal New Zealand Ballet announced today that long-serving company Soloist Loughlan Prior will retire from full time dancing at the conclusion of the current Bold Moves tour, which finishes in Napier on September 15.
Prior was appointed Choreographer in Residence with the RNZB in 2018 having joined the company in 2010 after training at the New Zealand School of Dance. His first full length work for the company, Hansel & Gretel, will premiere in Wellington on 6 November.
In addition to his body of work for the RNZB, and his popularity as a project choreographer in New Zealand, Prior is increasingly in demand internationally; November will also see the premiere of his new work, The Appearance of Colour, for Queensland Ballet.
‘Loughlan is a wonderful artist’ says Artistic Director Patricia Barker. ‘He has made an outstanding contribution to the RNZB over the last decade, onstage as a dancer in a very broad range of roles, and as a choreographer with a bright future. I am very pleased to announce that, alongside his role as Choreographer in Residence, he will continue to perform with the RNZB from time to time in his new role as a Principal Character Artist.
Loughlan’s career highlights include repertoire by William Forsythe, Jiří Kylián, Liam Scarlett, Alexander Ekman, Garry Stewart, and Larry Keigwin, and he has created original roles in works by Cameron McMillan, Penny Saunders, Sarah Foster-Sproull and Javier De Frutos.
He brought the role of Alistair Stewart to life in Jiří and Otto Bubeníček’s The Piano: the ballet: ‘Prior is immediately convincing as the stern repressed Alistair Stewart. He carries this role outstandingly through the work until the inevitable implosion of rage in his dramatic climax.’ (Lyne Pringle – Theatre Review)
Loughlan is a prolific creator of theatre, film and multimedia projects. In 2017 he was described by Dance Aotearoa New Zealand as ‘a creative tour de force’. The New Zealand Herald described his work as using ‘extreme geometries of the limbs and innovative partnering’ and Dance Europe described his work as using ‘complex partnering, precision and confidence’.
In 2014 he received the Warrandyte Youth Arts Award and in 2015 he was named the winner of the Ballet Foundation of New Zealand’s Harry Haythorne Choreographic Award. In 2016 he was the recipient of Creative New Zealand’s Tup Lang Choreographic Award. He was appointed as Choreographer in Residence at the Royal New Zealand Ballet in 2018.
His work has been featured by the RNZB, New Zealand School of Dance, Grand Rapids Ballet, Palucca Hoschule für Tanz Dresden, Asian Grand Prix, Toronto’s Assemblée Internationale, Auckland’s Tempo Dance Festival, LUX Light Festival, iD Fashion Week Dunedin, Melbourne Fashion Festival, New Zealand International Film Festival, San Francisco Dance Film Festival, The Film Society of Lincoln Centre, TV3’s Dancing with the Stars and the Short Film Corner of the Cannes Film Festival.
Loughlan is supported by