'I will dance till the time I can'

'I will dance till the time I can'

Do you remember the cute, good-looking and lenient man sitting on the judges’ seat of popular reality shows like Dance India Dance and Nach Baliye? Yes, we are talking about Marzi Pestonji. The 30-year-old choreographer who started his career with Hindi movie Dil To Pagal Hai, as an assistant to Shiamak Davar, says that he was not certain about pursuing dance as a profession.

 “I saw Shiamak’s performance at a show and at that point of time, I didn’t know who he was. I asked my parents and they informed me about him. Also, there were many good-looking girls in the show, and that was enough reason for me to start dancing,” Pestonji says.

According to him, his Parsi background made things smooth for him because Parsis’ are not “orthodox”.

“My father always told me that once I complete my education, I’m free to do whatever I want. But to be honest, I was not sure whether I’d take dancing as a profession.

 “In course of time, I started loving it and told my father that I will dance till the time I can. He, in fact, encouraged me saying ‘do whatever what you want to do and if you fail, I’m there for you’,” Pestonji shares with Metrolife recalling his early life.

 Pestonji believes that once someone comes under the wings of an ace choreographer like Shiamak, one need not worry about anything. He too never looked back after he started working with him. And his impressive track record is a testimony for that. He has been associated with movies like Bunty Aur Babli, Dhoom 2, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi and many dance reality shows.

 On being asked about the experience of judging reality shows, Pestonji says, “It is always a great experience. It is nice to see people from all walks of life dancing. I judged the two shows which were very different from one another. Dance India Dance (DID) brings forth raw talent even from places which are unheard of. There is no dearth of talent our country and shows like this highlight the point. Also, every participant teaches you something before they leave and that’s great.”

He adds, “In Nach Baliye, the participants were celebrities. You cannot literally judge them because they were not technically correct. So you have to oversee these things. People ask me why you are so lenient with them, but I can’t be strict with them because they are non dancers.”

 But as the reality shows gained popularity, questions on their credibility were also raised. Use of “sympathy” and “tragedy” to gain TRPs has been the modus operandi for some of them.

“People will always question. There is always the thing called doubt. You are never free from it. Also, India runs on emotions and unfortunately that’s the truth,” he points out. “People vote but we never know what the truth is. But there is something called auditing things. There is a lot of reputation involved in that and you can’t mess with it. More or less these shows are authentic and they don’t chuna lagao (manipulate) people. This is my take,” he adds.

In the last two seasons of DID, his absence has been sorely missed. However, he is busy doing other things and confesses he has become a bit lazy now.

“DID seasons are being choreographed by the masters and I don’t have time to do that. I have not been at my workplace for five months and five months is a lot of time. Also, there is some kind of laziness because of which I don’t want to go back to it.”

While Hrithik Roshan and Shahid Kapur are his favourite dancers in Bollywood,
Pestonji has a clear favourite when it comes to Bollywood actresses.

“Aishwarya is my all time favourite as a dancer, as a person and as a friend also. I know her since she came to Shiamak to take dance training while she was participating for the Miss World pageant.”

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