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Only When I Dance

  • 2008
  • Beadie Finzi
  • 83 mins
  • PG

Summary

Documentary that follows two teenagers from the favelas of Rio de Janeiro as they pursue their dream of becoming international ballet dancers.

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Review

A star rating of 4 out of 5.

The favelas of Rio de Janeiro are such a hotbed of samba that few would readily associate them with classical ballet. But dance teacher Mariza Estrella has devoted over 35 years to guiding poor but gifted Brazilian students to coveted prizes at both domestic and international competitions. Director Beadie Finzi's focus falls on two young black dancers: Irlan, a lithe, light-skinned 18-year-old, who recognises that dance is his sole escape route from the deprivation that has lured so many of his contemporaries into crime; and Isabela, a 17-year-old whose tendency to gain weight and succumb to niggling injury is exacerbated by the expectations of her caring but pushy parents. The film contains some impressive dance scenes - the sequences in which Irlan competes for the prestigious Prix de Lausanne are compelling. But Isabela's story proves the more poignant, as her failure to make the grade evidently owes as much to her darker skin colour as her shortcomings as a ballerina.

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

rolename
Irlan Santos da SilvaIrlan Santos Da Silva
Isabela Coracy Alves Nascimento SantosIsabela Coracy Alves Nascimento Santos
Mariza EstrellaMariza Estrella

Crew

rolename
DirectorBeadie Finzi

Details

Theatrical distributor
Revolver
Released on
2009-12-04
Languages
English | Portuguese
Available on
DVD
Formats
Colour
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