2019 Choreographic Research

2019 Choreographic Research Project

Loughlan Prior
Royal New Zealand Ballet Choreographer in Residence Loughlan Prior. Photo: Stephen A’Court.

The Ballet Foundation supported Loughlan Prior on a major research project.

In 2019, the Ballet Foundation supported RNZB Choreographer in Residence Loughlan Prior on an international research project.

Below, Loughlan writes about his experience abroad. 

By Loughlan Prior

At the end of 2018 I was commissioned by the Royal New Zealand Ballet to create Hansel & Gretel, my first full length production. Excited and focussed on the enormous scale of the task ahead, I took it upon myself to embark on a period of research and development abroad. My main focus was to strengthen my skills as a choreographer by observing and studying the work of other creative artists presenting narrative dance and theatre work in Australia, Singapore and the UK.

I had the great pleasure of visiting a number of dance companies over a three week period where I was able to observe the work of Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Itzik Galili, Lucy Guerin, John Cranko, Timothy Harbour, Timothy Rushton, Toru Shimazaki, Sir David Bintley, Cathy Marston, Wayne McGregor and Sharon Eyal.

As a young artist and emerging choreographer in New Zealand this development project was incredibly important to nurturing my artistic practice and opening my eyes to the international dance world. The invaluable knowledge gained from being exposed to the work of some of today’s greatest choreographers has had a huge impact on how I look at connection, form and structure within my own work. The experience will stay with me as a strong force of inspiration and continue to inform new ways of present my artistic work in Aotearoa.

A wonderful outcome of this project was the connection I made with creative directors and other like-minded artists. In particular, my time spent with Singapore Dance Theatre resulted in a future commission with the company in which I was invited to create a new work for Singapore Dance Theatre’s Passages programme in 2021.

Loughlan Prior directs Soloists Shaun James Kelly and Kirby Selchow in a public rehearsal of Hansel & Gretel at Te Papa. Photo credit: Stephen A’Court.

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Former Soloists Katherine Skelton and Madeleine Graham in The Ryman Healthcare Season of The Sleeping Beauty, 2020. Photo: Stephen A’Court.