April 9, 2009


Only When I Dance is a documentary following two young teenagers, Isabela and Irlan, as they strive to realize an extraordinary dream. One girl, one boy; both black and poor, and living in one of the most violent favelas on the outskirts of Rio, Irlan and Isabela both want to dance ballet, and their ambition is to leave Brazil to join one of the great companies in North America. For them, dance is the way out, an escape, and on stage, it brings them to a state of ecstasy that is rarely found in their day-to-day lives. The question is, can they make it? Only When I Dance is Mad Hot Ballroom meets Billy Elliot—a classic narrative of coming of age. It is about chasing a dream to dance the most perfect dance against all the odds of race and of circumstance. And, of course, the price you must pay for talent, for ambition and for success.

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