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It took being caught at a border without proper documents for me to realise I’d always been a prisoner of sorts. Kuduro had been my passport to the world, thanks to it I’d travelled to places I’d never dreamed of visiting. But the chickens had come home to roost . . .
Hours before performing at one of Europe’s most iconic music festivals, Kalaf Epalanga is detained at the border on suspicion of being an illegal immigrant. Trapped, his thoughts soon thrum to the beat of kuduro, the blistering, techno-infused Angolan music which has taken him from Luanda to Kristiansund, Beirut to Rio de Janeiro, Paris to Lisbon.
Shifting between his reflections while incarcerated, and the stories of Sofia – Kalaf’s friend at the heart of the Lisbon dance scene – and the ‘Viking’, the immigration official holding Kalaf’s fate in his hands, ,Whites Can Dance Too ,is a celebration of the music of Epalanga’s homeland, and a hypnotic paean to cultural roots, to freedom and love.