On the Couch with Loughlan Prior

Loughlan Prior AAR On the CouchWho is Loughlan Prior?
I’ve always had a flair for the theatrical – I’m a natural creative spirit. I’m a dancer, choreographer and creative director. I love the magic of the theatre and am fascinated by telling stories through movement, music and visual design. Born and raised in Melbourne’s bushy outer east, in Warrandyte, I started dancing at the age of five.

From the day I put those ballet shoes on it’s been a source of happiness and creative fulfilment in my life. Now as a creative director in my thirties, I’m lucky enough to work with dance artists from around the world, crafting original choreographic ideas and facilitating unexpected matches between classical and contemporary art forms.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
Perhaps try to balance life and work a little better – in this business it’s feast or famine and there are often never enough hours in the day to juggle everything.

Who inspires you and why?
I’m inspired by people with passion and drive. I’m currently working on adapting the beloved Aussie children’s story Possum Magic into a ballet, and I am constantly powered by the team I’m fortunate to work with. Composer Claire Cowan and designer Emma Kingsbury are constant sources of inspiration.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
In my practice I strive to foster projects which explore and highlight important contemporary issues. Advocating sustainable practice and arts education, along with creating entertainment for a diverse audience to enjoy, are areas which I believe make a difference to our global society.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Blairgowrie – my family and I have been going down to the beach for holidays since I was born. It’s a really lovely relaxing spot.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
You can’t beat a Warrandyte bush walk. I like nature watching – spotting kangaroos, echidnas and kookaburras.

What are you currently reading?
Sudden Death by Álvaro Enrigue.

What are you currently listening to?
Dreamfall by Now Ensemble.

Happiness is?
Working on a juicy project. I love working with a team to adapt important stories for the stage. Developing a new ballet in the studio with a fantastic cast of dancers and then seeing the vision come to life on stage is where I am most happy.

What does the future hold for you?
I’m working on a couple of great projects in Canada and the United States in 2024. I’m incredibly excited about the future and the chance to keep sharing my work with audiences around the world.

Loughlan is the choreographer of Possum Magic (based on the book written by Mem Fox and illustrated by Julie Vivas) – which will be presented by The Australian Ballet School at Arts Centre Melbourne: 8 – 10 December 2023. For more information, visit: www.australianballetschool.com.au for details.

Image: Loughlan Prior (supplied)