Orlando V. Pagan began his training at the age of 13 with the Bronx Dance Theatre and later went on to study at the prestigious High School of Performing arts, Alvin Ailey School of Dance, School of American Ballet, and Jacobs Pillow.
As well as performing and touring with the Bronx Dance Theatre and the Windermere Ballet, he was later featured in the HBO produced ‘Get Working’, a video that promoted Summer Youth work programs. He was also part of the ensemble of dancers in an ‘I love New York’ commercial featuring Mikhail Baryshnikov. After finding work in a few off-Broadway musical productions, Mr. Pagan studied Ukrainian Folk Dance and in 1987, became a soloist of the Syzokryli Ukrainian Dance Ensemble of NYC for thirteen years under the direction of Roma Pryma Bohachevsky. He was featured in such ballets as “Vohon”, “Fight for Freedom”, and “Ikona”. The company has successfully toured regions of the U.S. and most notably, Ukraine.
In 1999, Mr. Pagan auditioned for and was accepted to become a member of Dance Theater of Harlem in NYC under the direction of Arthur Mitchell.There he performed in such repertoire as: “Return”; Soloist, “Medea”; Demi soloist, “South African Suite”, “Dougla”; Corps. He has traveled all over the U.S. and abroad to perform and teach in countries such as Great Britain, Europe, Germany, China, and Austria and has worked with such dignitaries as Mark Morris, Peter Martens, Geoffrey Holder, Michael Smuin, and Desmond Richardson. He would later go on to guest in such companies as Obrij Folk Ensemble, Shore Ballet, and the Anglo-American Ballet Company.
In 2006, he became the Artistic Director of the Syzokryli Ukrainian Folk Ensemble and the Head Instructor for all schools under the Roma Pryma Bohachevsky foundation. He has held the position of Artistic Director of both Zolotyj Promin School and Ensemble of Hartford, CT since 1995, and the Mriya School of Ukrainian Dance in Hempstead, L.I. since 1998. He currently teaches for schools in Yonkers, NY. and Passaic N.J. He has also taught for the Dance Theatre of Harlem under the Artist Residency program, ‘Dancing Through Barriers’, teaching dance to children in the inner cities of NY.
Although never formally trained in music, Mr. Pagan has also had success in the music industry. His musical credits include co-writing ‘My Life (Through the Spirit in Your Eyes)’
for the film and soundtrack ‘Empire’ performed by Jon Secada, ‘We’ll be Together’ for the film ‘Wrestling Earnest Hemmingway’ starring Robert Duvall, and the Christmas song, ‘If Every Day Were Christmas’, played throughout the country on the Westwood One radio network.
He was featured in the acclaimed movie documentary, ‘FOLK!’, and was recently featured in an article in the NY Times detailing his passion and life as a Ukrainian Folk
dancer and instructor.