Looks count more than talent in India, says Marzi Pestonji

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New Delhi, April 18 (IANS) Ace choreographer Shiamak Davar’s former students like Shahid Kapoor and Sushant Singh Rajput are now among sought-after Bollywood actors. But Marzi Pestonji, who assists Davar, is in no mood to join the league as he believes “good looks” come first in Indian showbiz.

Pestonji has been associated with Davar for almost two decades. Asked if he would follow in their footsteps, Pestonji told IANS: “Do I look like an actor? Do you want a film to flop before it releases? In India, talent is not that great (a factor). You don’t need to have talent. You need to have good looks first. It’s not happening with me.”

“I’ve accepted it and I’m happy about it. Acting is not happening. Besides, you need to learn up so many words in one time and speak… not possible,” added the former “Dance India Dance” judge.

Hence, he is content making small screen appearance as judge on dance based shows.

“I’am happy doing this. I don’t want more,” said the choreographer, who will co-judge Star Plus’ upcoming dance reality show “Nach Baliye 7” with actress Preity Zinta and author Chetan Bhagat.

How is it teaming up with them?

“It’s been awesome because I know Preity for a long time. I’ve known her because we have done work together. I work for Shiamak, so I’ve done a lot of award shows with her and also tours. Chetan, I don’t know. I’ve heard of him. This is the first time we are meeting,” he said.

What about his approach towards judging the celebrity contestants?

“My approach might be a little different because they are not that great dancers. They are celebrity couples. Keeping that in mind, my approach will be little different towards judging them. I think I will be more strict so that I can take out the best in them,” said Pestonji, who will be assisting Davar on “Jagga Jasoos”.

The jazz and contemporary dance expert says he is involved in “everything” that Davar does and has no interest in doing individual project.

“I’m not adventurous. I’m not ambitious. I’ve been with Shiamak for almost 20 years. It’s been a long time to say that ‘Now, I want to do something of my own’. He has done the hard work. I’ve had the fruit of his hard work,” he said.

“I teach dance. That’s my priority. All the knowledge that you have, if you don’t impart to others, what’s the point of having it? I like to give back. So that takes a lot of time. ‘Nach Baliye’ is just one day in a week, so that’s nice. Had it been every day… impossible. I wouldn’t have taken up the project,” he added.

The Commerce graduate also notes that “dance has got more credibility now”.

“Earlier dancers were looked down upon. When I started off in 1992-1993, my family also asked me if I was sure about it. But my father told me to finish my graduation first,” he said.

“Then in 1997, ‘Dil To Pagal Hai’ (choreographed by Davar) came. That changed the perception of dancers in the industry and dance also. Dance started getting more respect. Today, dance can be a career and you can earn good money,” he added.

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