"Samir Calixto proved once again to have the talent it takes to become a powerful name in the modern dance scene."
Dance Europe over "Paradise Lost" - June 2015
©Peter Janssen/ Krachtigkaal
A SHORT BIOGRAPHY
Samir Calixto was born in São Paulo, Brazil. Before embracing his dance career he followed other paths in performing arts. At the early age of 14 he was already involved with theatre groups as a performer, touring around his country while his interest in other art fields grew with his contact with inspiring figures along his way. At the age of 17 he officially got his professional status as an actor. In a later stage, on the search for a deeper understanding of his art-making, he received his education in different art disciplines. These studies included drama at EAD (Drama Art School) at São Paulo University and classical singing at the Conservatory of São Paulo City. In the dance field, he gained much of his education as an autodidact, exploring various techniques in small studios around, supported by different mentors. For his dance solo debut Eros in 1999 he won the first prize at Nascente/ Abril Festival. From this moment on, Samir was involved with multidisciplinary projects connected to his university years as well as a guest artist in outside projects.
While moving to Europe in 2004 - one year after his graduation - Samir made the definitive switch to the dance career, getting in touch with the rich Dutch and European dance scenes, meeting figures who would have a decisive role on furthering his steps. Establishing his freelancing status as a dancer, he had in 2005 his solo Wash Me Up placed as a finalist at the Best Dance Solo Competition in Leipzig (coordinated by Alain Platel). Since then Samir has worked in productions by Korzo Theatre, Danswerkplaats Amsterdam, and others.
For the last years, Samir has mainly developed his own works, establishing himself as one of the main active independent choreographers in The Netherlands. Among his early creations are Grondzaken (2007), in collaboration with the visual artist Wilma Marijnissen and Beating Hollow (2009), this last second prize on the Jur Naessens Prijs. Since then Korzo Productions - the biggest production house for dance in The Netherlands and one of the most prominent in Europe - has adopted him as one of its house choreographers. His first full evening program - the Winterreise Tetralogy - had its premiére during the 2012 edition of the prestigious Holland Dance Festival, becoming one of the most acclaimed performances in the festival. His full-length piece 4 Seasons had its première in February 2013, being highly praised by both critics and the public. This choreography received a nomination for the "ZWAAN" - the most important Dutch dance prize - as the most impressive choreography of the year.
In 2014 Calixto was the first recipient of the BNG EXCELLENT TALENT DANCE AWARD, a choreography prize for outstanding choreographic talent in The Netherlands. His full-length creation Paradise Lost was also granted with a special commission for the BNG Cultural Fonds Jubileum, besides opening the 2015 edition of the Cadance Festival in The Netherlands. In a co-production with the Nederlands Dans Theater and Korzo he created 'M', which was selected for the 2016 edition of the Nederlandse Dansdagen (Dutch Dance Days).
In 2018 Calixto presents two full-length creations: Summa - a co-production with the Cello Octet Amsterdam on specially transcribed works by Arvo Pärt - and Schubert's 'Die Schöne Müllerin', commissioned by the Dance Company Theater Osnabrück in Germany. These creations were followed by 'W', which opened CaDance Festival in 2019 and went in an extensive tour around The Netherlands.
His latest creations are IN FUGA I, a commission for the Bremen/ Hannover based company Of Curious Nature/ TanzRaum Nord, and SEEKER※SOLO, which marks his farewell as house choreographer at the Korzo Theater in The Netherlands.
His tour experiences include performances in festivals and theaters in Holland, Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Czech Republic, Russia, Switzerland, Canary Islands, Cyprus, Norway, Senegal and South Korea.
From 2021 Calixto launches Matter Affects - an initiative in partnership with Stacz Wihelm, former artistic director of Korzo Theater. The foundation, based in the Dutch province of Overijssel in close collaboration with Zwolse Theaters and other european theaters, will dedicated itself to develop the dance culture in the region as well as to establish further international collaborations. Apart from Calixto's work, it intends to support initiatives by other experienced independent choreographers as one of its future steps.