Only When I Dance

Directed by Beadie Finzi
Film Movement
78 Minutes
Brazil, United Kingdom
Portuguese, English
Documentary, Coming of Age, Latin American, Black Cinema
Not Rated
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This feel-good documentary follows Irlan and Isabela, two teenagers from the violent favelas of Rio de Janeiro, as they pursue their dreams of becoming professional ballet dancers. This inspiring story takes us from Rio - where their communities must raise the funds to support their ambitions - to exhilarating ballet competitions in New York and Switzerland. It's a film about their determination to dance, and the price one must pay for talent, ambition and success.


  • Irlan Silva
  • Isabela Coracy
DVD Features

Bonus short: Lil'A, directed by Katharina Sophie Brauer

Sound: Stereo 2.0

Discs: 1

  • Highest Rating
    "A real life Billy Elliot!"
    Jane Rosenthal, Tribeca Film Festival
  • Highest Rating
    "An unforgettable experience!"
    Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
  • Highest Rating
    "Finzi's lovingly filmed movie draws viewers into the lives of its two young heroes. You don't have to be a ballet buff to be moved by Isabela's and Irlan's stories."
    V.A. Musetto, New York Post
  • Highest Rating
    "This inspiring, involving documentary traces the stories of two dancers from the favelas of Rio de Janiero in a disarmingly simple way"
    Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
  • Highest Rating
    "A wonderful documentary about two young talented black ballet dancers from working-class families and the yearning that propels them."
    Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality & Practice

Awards & Recognition

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