“It’s beautiful to see the transformations in students and to see where they are,” Mancillas said. “With dance, I can learn about myself and dive into this huge world, which is scary to do.”
Ellen Shelton, chair of the ballet and modern dance department, said the department was looking for a Latin American Green Chair because of the upcoming Latin American Arts festival, which will be held in April. She said the Thursday performance was a hook to their spring concerts.
“His dances have a beautiful flow and quality,” Shelton said. “He addresses social issues and subjects which are important to him.”
Mancillas has been teaching various classes during his stay. Shelton said he is an excellent teacher and students have responded positively to him.
“He really inspires students by example,” she said. “He has interesting ways of connecting movement with aspects of real life.”
Mancillas is an internationally known choreographer who said he loves teaching because he enjoys sharing his passion for dancing with others.
“I enjoy pushing people to realize that there isn’t much time and for them to realize their desires and fears and to be aware of them,” Mancillas said.
Shelton said Mancillas first came to TCU many years ago when his company performed during the Mid-American Arts Alliance.
Born in Hermosillo, Mexico, Mancillas studied a variety of classical and contemporary dance styles. He is the artistic director of “Antares,” which has been called one of the most outstanding modern dance companies in Mexico. The company tours internationally and incorporates drama, humor and music in their performances. A significant amount of their repertoire reflects today’s Latin American life.
Mancillas said he researches all of his ideas for performance pieces.
“I try to enrich the first idea that comes to mind and I try to incorporate symbolism,” he said.
Junior modern dance major Lindsey Smith said she enjoyed having Mancillas as her teacher.
“I was impressed with Miguel’s understanding of the world around us and how he related it to us,” Smith said.