Parth Sethi is a dancer and choreographer from Jaipur. He graduated from Broadway Dance Centre (BDC), New York’s Professional Semester Programme and has also choreographed a piece in their showcase as an alumnus choreographer. He has also been fortunate enough to have shared the stage with A.R Rahman as a solo mover at Metlife Stadium, New York CIty. In 2019, he won the World of Dance online competition and was invited to perform in Los Angeles as a headliner.
However, his tryst with World of Dance began much before he was invited to perform there – he had always looked up to the performers on WoD and harboured a dream of one day performing there. As someone who isn’t particularly competitive, he was a little hesitant to participate when he heard of an online competition for World of Dance. After some convincing on the part of his friends, he sent a choreography and to his surprise, won the competition! This came as a bit of shock also because before he received official competition saying he had won, he had been tagged on World of Dance’s Instagram page announcing him to be the winner and that his live performance would happen soon. He had to fly to Los Angeles two days after he was told he had won.
He was given two and a half minutes to perform the same choreography he had submitted to the competition. However, his choreography was much shorter, so he decided to have the audience clap a rhythm, put the rhythm in his pocket, finish dancing, bring the clap back and dance to their claps. He describes the whole thing as an incredible experience. He even got to meet the director of World of Dance, who was full of praise for his performance. Parth was chosen the winner out of 25,000 entries.
Another distinction Parth can claim is that of being the first international choreographer for the Broadway Dance Centre’s programme showcase. BDC has always been home for Parth. He was always pushed to do different things there and received encouragement and support there. When he was flying to NYC, he got in touch with the Programme Director who asked him to join them for a photoshoot. When his flight landed however, he saw an email asking him to be one of the choreographers for the Professional Semester showcase since was an alumnus. The only issue was that he had planned to come back to India a month later but the showcase was two months away. He met the director and the meeting convinced him to stay an extra two months.
As an alumni choreographer, Parth needed students to sign up to be a part of the piece. He expected maybe five to seven people to sign up but when he checked the sign up sheet one day, there were around twenty names. He describes working with professional dancers as being really fun and a creative joy because he didn’t have to worry about whether the dancers could do the movements or not. Therefore, he had free reign because he knew that his dancers would execute his vision.
Parth also harbours a dream of performing a solo piece in front of a huge audience. He has also always had an interest in music and wanted to sing. He felt that his dream of performing in front of a thousands of people would not be realised by dancing to someone else’s music. However, he he also didn’t want to play an instrument. Combining his love of music with his knowledge of dance, he started reading and eventually writing songs. He says that he has always been drawn to good lyrics, even more than to the melody. As a songwriter, he states he feels like a beginner again, which makes it all the more thrilling. He cites Bob Dylan, Ed Sheeran and Passenger as his inspirations. His friend Abi Solanki also played a big role in this journey – he has been helping him check his melodies, played guitar for him and patiently guided him. His first music gig Paper Sky and I, will take place at the end of March in Jaipur. He is currently involved in a show that he wrote and sang for called Fleeting that he conceived with a friend, Arya.