Loughlan Prior Dance

A Message from Loughlan Prior
August 2021
Ana Lobaina Gallardo dancing The Firebird. Other dancers stand to the side, dressed in post-apocalyptic costumes. There a projection of a dark red sun behind them.

Kia ora,

Here we are in August, already! I hope you had a happy and healthy July.

This past month has been full focus on preparing for the opening of The Firebird, a brand-new production for The Royal New Zealand Ballet. The work premiered on the 29th of July at The Opera House Wellington, and is now enjoying a national tour across New Zealand. 

Our vision for the production has been inspired in equal measure by the mythology of the phoenix, an avian goddess and protective deity with elemental powers; and the current environmental crisis facing Mother Nature today. Mythos and ecology collide on stage to create an uncomfortable future world, plagued by chaos and starved of love and nourishment. Only the wondrous Firebird/Mother Nature has the ability to reverse the destructiveness of human action and bring balance once more. 

The response, so far, has been heart-warming and incredibly humbling.

Lynn Pringle writes for The Dominion Post - 'Central to this interpretation is Igor Stravinsky’s innovative score. Loughlan Prior choreographs meticulously to the music, using the dynamic shifts and changes as a scaffold for his innovative storytelling. It is brave, innovative and welcome.'

I am so proud of the artists who have brought the ballet to life and of our creative team (Set and Costume Designer Tracy Grant Lord, Lighting Designer Jon Buswell and Animation/VFX collaborators at POW studios) who have contributed such commitment and creativity to the production.

The tour runs until the 2nd of September. 

Get Tickets Here

Rehearsal Photos Credit: Stephen A'Court.

The cast of The Firebird, dressed in post-apocalyptic costumes hold the firebird aloft as red sparks fly about the stage.
Ana Lobaina Gallardo and the cast of Firebird.
Click here for the Stuff review: 'Brave, innovative and welcome'
Two dancers in front of a post-apocalyptic shipwreck and survivors. They are facing to the right, left leg extended forward, back arched, and arms extended.
Principal Sara Garbowski and Guest Artist Harrison James.
Click here for RNZ's Review: 'A Classic Reimagined'
The male dancer holds The Firebird in his arms. Her legs point toward the sky as he leans over her and they gaze into each other's eyes.
Harrison James and Ana Gallardo Lobaina
Click here for Lucire's Review: The Firebird - A Triumph
Click here for Theatre Scenes' review: [Old Forms; New Visions]
For further information for commissions and staging of the work of Loughlan Prior please contact

Assis Carreiro MBE 

Director, International Arts and Cultural Projects

0044 7879415882

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Loughlan Prior · 12 Brougham Street · Mount Victoria · Wellington, Wellington 6011 · New Zealand

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