85 min, Documentary, Quebec, Canada, 2010
Directed byIsabelle Lavigne & Stéphane Thibault
Produced byLucie Lambert (Les Films du tricycle)
Film subjects Africa , Arts & Culture , Women
Regis du cinemas, general

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Press reviews

... the colourful dance scenes have an intoxicating energy, and there’s no denying Lavigne and Thibault’s filmmaking talent. Malcolm Fraser, MIRROR This is one of those docs that thrusts you into another culture. NOW

Film details

At Night They Dance is one family’s story. The film takes us into the heart of a clan of women, in which the art of dancing has been passed down from mother to daughter since time immemorial. Like folk heroines, these women are larger than life, united, dignified and resourceful. Filmed in Cairo, At Night They Dance takes an unsentimental yet lyrical look at a hidden world full of surprise and fascination. The viewer is allowed in as a privileged witness.


Researche, Script, Direction : Isabelle Lavigne, Stéphane Thibault

Production : Lucie Lambert – les films du tricycle

Image : Stéphane Thibault

Sound Recording : Isabelle Lavigne
Editing : René Roberge

Sound Design : Claude Beaugrand

Sound Mixing : Luc Boudrias
Composer : Benoît Charest


Featuring : Reda Ibrahim Mohamed Ali, Amira Said Samir Sayed, Bossy Said Samir Sayed, Hind Said Samir Sayed


Financial partners



Conseil des Arts du Canada
Conseil des Arts et des lettres du Québec

Téléfilm Canada, Canwest
Hot Docs Completion Fund


Isabelle Lavigne

How does our environment make us what we are? Who shapes the dreams that we think are ours? How much space is left for being yourself? Those questions underlie JUICE, Le 4125, rue Parthenais and Junior. Films about men’s worlds where only winners matter and losers are invisible, taking solace in their sincerity. After turning 30 and becoming a mother, Isabelle Lavigne turned her attention to a women’s world, making La nuit, elles dansent (At Night, They Dance) (2010). She remains as interested as ever in the intersections between social order and difference, observing a family of belly dancers who – by simply making a living – transgress against moral order. Thanks to the time she invests and the trust she builds with her subjects, Isabelle Lavigne’s films take us inside dramatically rich microcosms, which she patiently explores in great depth. The result is real-life narratives that resemble fiction.

Stéphane Thibault

After studying film at Université de Montréal, Stéphane Thibault directed two medium-length documentaries, Les loups (1995) and Ne parlez jamais avec l’inconnu (1996), the latter won Best Video Documentary at the Festival Internacional de Cinema de Figueira da Foz in Portugal. In 1998, he made Le beau Jacques (Grand Prix, international competition, Festival international du documentaire de Marseille). In 2002, he directed The Righteous (Claude Jutra Award at the Rendez-vous du Cinéma québécois). In 2007, he co-directed with Isabelle Lavigne Junior, a feature documentary (Best Canadian Documentary, Hotdocs, Toronto). Three years after, in 2010, Stéphane and Isabelle released a new documentary, At Night They Dance.


RIDM 2010
Mention, Prix Caméra-stylo Montréal
Mention honorable Vancouver
hotDOCS 2011
Prix Spécial du jury Toronto
La Quinzaine des réalisateurs, Cannes 2011
Sélection Cannes, France