DIDO ÆNEAS US & ALL – A new piece by Samir Calixto

On 19th February 2022 a new performance by choreographer Samir Calixto will have its premiere at the Schouwburg De Lawei in Drachten, The Netherlands. DIDO ÆNEAS US & ALL is the first production of Matter Affects, an initiative by Samir Calixto and Stacz Wilhelm, former artistic director of the dance production house Korzo in The Hague. The foundation aims to broaden the support of so-called mid-career choreographers by promoting surprising collaborations. The extensive Dutch tour will be concluded on 19th May with a special derniere at the Schouwburg Odeon in Zwolle, not coincidentally also the city where Matter Affects has established its base.

The performance

The opera Dido and Aeneas was written around 1688 by English composer Henry Purcell and is considered a milestone both in music history as well as in Western culture. The work focuses on the tragically ceased romance between the two mythical characters. However, Samir Calixto’s interpretation goes much further than that. Within the frame of Purcell’s masterpiece, he searches for the boundaries between romantic and spiritual love. By looking at our eternal longing for the other half, and yet the curious paradox of one’s inevitable sense of solitude once that one is found, this new creation will look at love from a larger spectrum: our limited vision of love which is never satisfied versus a broader, universal love which lies in mutual freedom and the comprehension of our place within a larger scheme – a theme so recurrent on the choreographer’s body of work.

Matter Affects

Founders Samir Calixto and Stacz Wilhelm know each other from their long years of collaboration with Korzo Productions. They share a vision in which dance embodies the mutability and pluriformity of life, and through non-verbal intensities enriches human interaction. The foundation is committed to supporting mid-career choreographers who have been working at a high artistic level for years and who are reaching a national and international audience with their performances. Actual broadening of this support is achieved by involving new, and perhaps unusual, partners. That is why the foundation has chosen the city of Zwolle as its home base and has entered into a long-term cooperation with Zwolse Theaters and Schouwburg De Lawei in Drachten. Internationally, there is cooperation with the European network Danse Qui Danse. For DIDO ÆNEAS US & ALL, the foreign co-production partners are Scenario Pubblico in Catania, Dansverkstæðið in Reykjavik, and Steptext Dance Project in Bremen.


Concept, Choreography, Set and Costume Design: Samir Calixto

Performers: Samir Calixto & Erika Poletto

Lighting design: Pavla Beranová

Music: Dido and Aeneas by Henry Purcell

Publicity photo: Peter Janssen

DIDO ÆNEAS US & ALL is supported by Fonds Podiumkunsten, the BNG Cultuurfonds and the M.A.O.C. Gravin van Bylandt Foundation.