Choreographer Marzi Pestonji – known to some as ‘Master Marzi’ – rose to prominence within India’s Bollywood studio system alongside Shiamak Davar, and now splits his time between Mumbai and Vancouver. For now, such long-haul journeys might be on pause, but in the run up to Diwali, the spectacular Hindu festival of light and India’s biggest holiday, he looks back on late-night celebrations, perfect summers and his enduring love of travel.

Where is your favourite place to spend a summer?

As a dance choreographer and teacher I travel a lot for work, for various shoots and dance show performances. I spend my time between Mumbai and Vancouver which is my second home – while I love summers in both cities Vancouver is special because it allows me to enjoy and appreciate nature, everything from glorious hikes to whale watching. But my favourite summer destination has to be Ibiza in Spain, I’ve been going there for over ten years now to enjoy the beaches, food and most of all the music.

Describe the best meal you’ve had on holiday...

Seafood paella at Juan y Andrea on Formentera or Ses Boques in Ibiza. Having your feet in the sand – and the ambience at both – make the Spanish dish even more special.

What’s your go-to flying outfit?

I tend to love layering – especially when flying because I’m constantly hot and cold. A pair of soft trousers, easy to sleep in on long-haul flights – the yellow cotton drawstring pair from SMR Days are a new favourite – and a white T-shirt and crew-neck sweatshirt. Then a huge scarf and baseball cap to finish.

And your dream rental car?

I love a good old-fashioned Jeep, with a soft top and a great soundsystem.

Your favourite holiday drink?

I don’t drink very much – I never have – but when I do, it’s a good Reposado. I usually just have it as a shot…

What would you never wear on the beach?

Speedos – I’ve performed on stage with barely any clothing but somehow these make me feel very naked on a beach…

What movie has the best vacation style, and why?

It’s probably quite predictable but Dirty Dancing – I love that the movie revolves around dance and summer. In terms of fashion, I love it all from tank tops and short-sleeve shirts to the oversized summer suits, which I would definitely wear for a summer wedding.

Diwali begins this Saturday – what does the festival mean to you?

As a Zoroastrianist, Diwali has never been celebrated at home with my family but living in India I have celebrated every year with very close friends. It truly is the Hindu Christmas – my favourite part is the food and late-evening card parties. Everyone’s homes are beautifully decorated with Diyas and flowers, it makes the country feel like a grand stage.

Marzi's List

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