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 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 menthors. 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 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 chroreographers 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 programme – 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 lenght piece 4 Seasons had its première in February 2013, being highly praised by both critics and public. This choreography received a nomination for the “ZWAAN” – the most important Dutch dance prize – as 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 commision 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.
His latest creation ‘W’ opened CaDance Festival in 2019 and followed in an extensive tour around The Netherlands.
His tour experiences include performances in festivals and theatres in Holland, Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Czech Republic, Russia, Switzerland, Canary Islands, Cyprus, Norway, Senegal and South Korea.
Photo: De Schaapjesfabriek