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To see Kevin Pajarillaga perform is to witness movement with in-the-moment intention. His characteristic thoughtfulness is conveyed through his ability to take a choreographer’s steps and infuse them with his own style: a style that is strong, supple, fluid and chameleon-like. He is a dance artist who is particularly sensitive to an environment’s effect on the body. In a recent interview, when asked about his long relationship with CityDance Conservatory, and why he loves coming back to teach and perform year after year, he says, “It’s nice to come to where I came from and see what that does to my body because, you know, being in a space that is very familiar, your body is different.”  

Kevin Pajarillaga came to CityDance Conservatory after seeing his sister, who was already enrolled here, dance in a concert at our Strathmore Black Box Studio. He says, “I was in a lot of sports and recreational street style dance, and then I saw my sister perform, who was at the Conservatory already. I was super curious and somehow I ended up auditioning and got a scholarship. I was fifteen.” 

Pajarillaga says he loved many aspects of his training at CityDance Conservatory.  He says, “They have so many genres of dance that I was involved right away in everything, all types of styles.  And there are such high level teachers so I felt very versatile, and I felt that I was getting a lot of information right away. The energy in the environment is so challenging, serious, but also lighthearted and communal and familial…They brought in incredible companies and guest artists and teachers from different companies around the world, high level companies, and that was probably the most crucial for me because I was able to see and learn from artists currently in the field and artists that I still know now, that I actually dance with and do projects with now.”

In the years since he completed his Conservatory training, Pajarillaga has grown into a versatile artist, whether it’s fashion modeling, choreographing his own works, performing, or creating community, his goal is to nurture and train emerging artists.  He has been a guest teacher at many prestigious dance schools and colleges, including New York University Tisch School of the Arts, SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance, Gibney Dance, and Broadway Dance Center, to name only a few. We welcome him “home” and look forward to seeing him dance at our 2024 Elevation Celebration on May 19th at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater.

© 2024 Kim Kokich

Photo Credit: Jingzi Zhao
Photo Credit: Amy Gardner