Dance or Die

Dance or Die is Syrian dancer Ahmad Joudeh’s (27) life philosophy. It’s tattooed in his neck. Dance is Ahmad’s life, but it’s become impossible for him to practice dance in his war-torn city of birth Damascus. He seized the opportunity to flee Syria. He’s been living in the Netherlands for 18 months and he dances in productions by the National Ballet, among others.

His story has been captured by media worldwide and he performs nationally and internationally, with stars like Sting and dancer Roberto Bolle. Yet he struggles with his new life. He misses his family, still living in Syria. And there’s a lot of pressure to make it here. What is the price Ahmad pays for his newly acquired freedom? Director Roozbeh Kaboly filmed Ahmad for the Dutch tv programme ‘Nieuwsuur’ in 2016 and has followed him closely ever since. With Dance or Die he made a probing documentary about resilience and the yearning for autonomy.



International Emmy Award 2019


Rose d’Or 2019


The Netherlands – Cinedans 2018

The Netherlands – Netherlands Film Festival 2018