He never feels bad about the jokes cracked on him, he never minds but in turn enjoys being called names, he loves to be around kids, with his super-cute and super-sweet accent he wins hearts all-over, has done shows all over the globe, trained millions, undergone intensive training in order to become what he is today, Marzi Pestonji, the one with the heart of Gold, a great human being one can come across.
His association with Shiamak Davar and his academy SDIPA dates back to 1993, he also trained himself under International star, Debbie Allen in her academy (DADA), Master classes at Alvin Ailey, Broadway Dance Center and Harbour Dance Center.
He has been assisting Shiamak Davar for various shows and performances and is the principal dancer and instructor at SDIPA. He along with Shiamak has worked for performances for Bill Clinton, Richard Gere Foundation, Will Smith and performed in Bollywood movies. He has performed and assisted him at many award functions. Also aided in global events like The Opening & Closing Ceremonies of Commonwealth Games 2010, New Delhi, The Commonwealth Closing Ceremony at Melbourne 2006, The Unforgettable Tour, The World Economic Forum (Davos) and the list goes on and on.
He has been awesome master in DID DOUBLES and is currently working as a judge in DID lil masters
All in all Marzi is a renowned name today and his humble nature makes everyone shower their love upon this Parsi lad from Mumbai, who tries his level best in order to speak as much of Hindi he can.
Your super-cute accent and expression got you the name “Udi Baba” and now it is common for people to address you by the same, how do you react when these youngies join in pulling your leg?
I think it’s very sweet. Mithunda calls me by that name all the time on the show and I think it also shows the bond we’ve developed. Kids on the road, when I go for movies, in classes, all call me Udi Baba, and to tell you honestly I’ve started liking the name! (laughs)
Your association with Shiamak Davar and his institute has been almost two decades, you respect him + love him a lot for obvious reasons, What role do you think Shiamak has in making the “Marzi” you are today?
Whatever I know today is because of Shiamak. He has been my mentor, my friend and my family. My ability to dance, to teach and to choreograph is only because of Shiamak. And the beauty of working with him is that he always encourages originality, so he’s always let us grow as individuals. More importantly, Shiamak has helped me evolve as a person and introduced me to a book that changed his life, Laws of the Spirit World that has also shaped me to become the person I am today.
You have had been under the tutelage of International dancer, Debbie Allen, who is very well-known and her academy is renowned all over, what had been your learning experience with her?
Debbie is an exceptional teachers, she is a guru. When I went to DADA (Debbie Allen Dance academy) her hospitality was inspiring. She is a true artist. The variety of classes and the professionalism at her academy really does represent how far dance has come today. Like Shiamak, for me even Debbie is someone who is truly gifted and her ability to share that gift with people makes her extremely special.
Mithun Da and you have great chemistry; he never leaves any stone unturned in order to pull your leg. Your Hindi is something everyone enjoys listening to, you working on it?
The show itself is helping me a lot in improving my Hindi! I think the more I hear people speaking, I keep picking up words and improving the grammar!
I think Geeta is an integral part of the show and she really brings the whole team together. She is exceptional at her work and very appreciative of people’s talent and hard work. It’s great to be back on the sets with her. She really is great help to me on the show.
It was recently reported that you ran away from “Udi Baba” the pigeon named after you on the sets of DID L’il Masters? Why so?
(Laughs) It was all in fun and in the moment. The children on the show are so sweet and talented. The range of imagination and improvisation is beyond belief. That’s the beauty of the show, we travel across the country and really do find the talent hidden and hone it through the show.
You along with other judges have auditioned and judged these super-talented “Dance KE Baaps”, what is your reaction when they sweep the floor completely? And it is like there is a huge pool of talent? Where do you see them in the near future?
Like I said, the talent in our country is unbelievable. A lot of them are very gifted but lack professional training and technique. This is what Shiamak has taught me and I have realized the importance over the years. Even more so with children as at a young age they are more receptive and open to learning, and their bodies are more flexible.
Till now you have worked with almost all Biggies of B-town, helped them in shaking the leg on screen or on stage, you wish to work with anyone in particular you have not worked with till now and would like to?
I’ve been fortunate enough to work with all the Bollywood Stars for various projects with Shiamak. I think it’s a learning experience with every person you teach, whether a star or a student; you learn something new about yourself through the teaching process.
What else are we seeing from you in the near future?
There are quite a few shows and events lined up that I’ll be assisting Shiamak with. And teaching being my first love, I will continue teaching at Shiamak’s classes. Also Shiamak’s own movie is starting soon so will be busy with that.