Lead Artists

Shay Ishii - Choreographer & Artistic Director

With each new choreographic endeavor, Shay Ishii seeks to immerse her audience in a kinesthetic and aesthetic experience of movement, light and sound. Her classic approach to modern dance is committed to a clear aesthetic that embodies simplicity, truth and beauty in movement. A deep sense of artistic and familial heritage compels and inspires her work from inception through the journey of creation to the evolution of performance. At the core of her heritage is her own background and that of her dancers in the technique and philosophy of Erick Hawkins.

As the Artistic Director of Shay Ishii Dance Company (SIDC), Shay is realizing a vision of creating and performing dance with people whom she loves, trusts and respects. The generous spirit of every dancer is essential to the creation and performance of her work. Her passion for dance extends beyond performance to encompass exploring and teaching movement. As a teacher, she seeks to guide her students to a more profound connection to their own bodies. She has been teaching Pilates and dance for 16 years and holds an MFA in Dance from Sam Houston State University and a BS in Dance from Texas State University. She is a Lecturer for the Department of Theatre & Dance at Texas State University. Shay has presented her work in California, Texas, New York, Nevada, Scotland and Germany. In 2010, she debuted her choreography and SIDC in New York as part of the Erick Hawkins Centennial Celebration. She has been fortunate to work with stellar artists in diverse disciplines, including architect, Andrew Nance, sculptor Catherine Lee and Austin’s Grammy Award-winning choral ensemble, Conspirare and Craig Hella Johnson.

Louis Kavouras

  Louis Kavouras has been a principal dancer of the Erick Hawkins Dance Company and faculty member of the Erick Hawkins School of Dance since 1996. Louis has studied with modern dancers Erick Hawkins, Kathryn Karipides, Kelly Holt, Katherine Duke, Cathy Ward, Betty Jones, Lucas Hoving, Donald McKayle, Peter Pucci, Gus Solomons, Rudy Perez, Claire Porter, John Malashock and Clay Taliaferro. Louis is accomplished as a choreographer, designer, visual and graphic artist. His dances have been showcased in Nevada, Ohio, North Carolina, Texas, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, Australia, Scotland, England, China, Korea, Japan, Denmark, Russia, Nova Scotia, Turks and Caicos and Jamaica. Louis believes in creating dances which are uniquely his own, and range from "hilarious" to "poignant." He comes from a total theater tradition and explores all interdisciplinary avenues between the arts. Louis joined the University of Nevada Las Vegas Dance Faculty in 1992. In 1994 he was elected chair of the department. At UNLV, he has established the Erick Hawkins West Institute with the goal of archiving, preserving, reconstructing and studying the profound contributions of Erick Hawkins and Lucia Dlugoszewski. 


Katherine Duke

Katherine Duke began studying with Erick Hawkins in 1983. She made her professional debut with the Erick Hawkins Dance Company in 1986. Katherine's mercurial grace, purity of presence, and focused phrasing brought her critical acclaim. She became a principal dancer under Hawkins's direction, assistant to the choreographer and rehearsal director under Lucia Dlugoszewski, and in 2001 Artistic Director. Katherine continues to bring the Company into the present and is responsible for many of the Company's reconstructions of Hawkins' dances. She set Hawkins' Journey of a Poet and Early Floating on Mikhail Baryshnikov and White Oak Dance Project, produced Company performances including honoring longtime collaborator Ralph Dorazio with a New York season for the Company at Lincoln Center, as well as many performances with dance companies and universities through out the US. Teaching internationally and as a guest artist-in residence, her archival research enriches the Company's repertory through unexplored works by Hawkins and Dlugoszewski, commissioned choreographers, and her own work. www.erickhawkinsdance.org 

Meg Brooker

Meg Brooker, Co-Director of the Duncan Dance Project and Assistant Professor of Dance, Middle Tennessee State University, is a founder and steering committee member of the Isadora Duncan International Symposium and a former member of Lori Belilove & Company, Isadora Duncan Dance Foundation. As a Duncan dancer, Meg has performed in national and international venues including The National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Museum, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Art Monastery (Italy), Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art (St. Petersburg), American Center of Moscow, PROJEKT Fabrika (Moscow), the Tchaikovsky Museum (Votkinsk), and the ancient Greek ruins at Chersonesos (Crimea), among others.  As an educator, Meg has taught master classes and staged Duncan work for dance programs at a range of institutions including The University of Texas at Austin, Texas State University, Northwest Vista College, the Anglo American School of Moscow, and Middle Tennessee State University. In addition to her work at the college and university level, Meg has taught on the faculties of The School at Steps on Broadway, Tapestry Dance Academy, the Isadora Duncan Dance Foundation, and the Noyes School of Rhythm Foundation, where she also serves on the Board of Directors. Meg has presented scholarship on Duncan and Noyes for Society of Dance History Scholars, Congress on Research in Dance, and National Dance Educators Organization, blogged about early twentieth century dance at Tunics in Texas, and contributed as a writer to Dance Studio Life magazine. Meg holds an MFA from The University of Texas at Austin and a BA from Yale. www.megbrookerdance.com


Jessica Lindberg Coxe

Jessica Lindberg Coxe is an Adjunct Professor of Dance History at Austin Community College (ACC), an instructor of Ballet technique at Greater Austin Dance Academy, and is actively involved in teaching the dance students at various schools in the Round Rock and Austin Independent School Districts. Jessica holds a BFA in Dance Performance from Southern Methodist University, and an MFA in Dance Reconstruction / Directing from Score from The Ohio State University. She is certified in Labanotation and is a Language of Dance® specialist. Since 2003, Jessica has reconstructed four master works by the dancer, choreographer, and theatrical lighting pioneer Loïe Fuller. Night, Fire Dance, Lily of the Nile, and La Mer were reconstructed from historical accounts, reviews, photographs, lithographs and other artwork of the 1890s, a method the Los Angeles Times dubbed the “hand book” for historical dance reconstruction (July 2005). The Fuller reconstructions, created in collaboration with lighting designer Megan Slayter, have been performed by professional dance companies, university dance programs, and have been presented at museums, including the Institute of Art in Chicago “Toulouse-Lautrec and Montmartre” exhibit co-sponsored by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Fire Dance is the focus of Loïe Fuller’s Fire Dance (2003) a DVD produced and published by the Dance Film Archive and all three Fuller solos, Night, Fire Dance, and Lily of the Nile, are featured in a documentary film about Fuller’s life,  Loïe Fuller: Dancing in the Light Fantastic, produced by MOMENTA Dance Company of Oak Park, Illinois, and distributed by Dance Horizons. 

Megan Slayter

Megan Slayter is the new Chair of Dance at Western Michigan University where she teaches lighting design, dance management, and dance history, while serving as the department’s production manager and lighting designer. She received her MFA in Dance with an emphasis in lighting design from The Ohio State University, and a BA in dance from Western Michigan University. Ongoing collaborative research with dance historian and Labanotator Jessica Lindberg Coxe, has resulted in the reconstruction of dances by modern dance pioneer Loïe Fuller.  Fire Dance, Night, and Lily of the Nile, have been reconstructed and commissioned for performance by universities, dance companies, and art museums including: The University of Washington in Seattle; MOMENTA Dance, and the Art Institute of Chicago in Chicago, IL; and the Maryhill Museum of Art in Glendale, WA. The three solos are featured on the DVD documentary Loïe Fuller: Dancing in the Light Fantastic available through Dance Horizons.  In 2011 Lindberg and Megan reconstructed Fuller’s La Mer to music by Claude Debussy at Western Michigan University.  Megan was named as the 2013/14 Cranbrook Schools Bravo Guest Artist and staged La Mer as part of her residency. As the resident dance lighting designer at Western Michigan University, Megan has designed for new works by Peter Chu, Gabrielle Lamb, KT Nelson, Nelly von Bommel, Ron DeJesus, Lauren Edson, Eddie Ocampo, and Autumn Eckman; and has reconstructed designs for works by Gerald Arpino, George Balanchine, Robert Battle, Frank Chaves, Lou Conte, Alonzo King, Ohad Naharin, David Parsons, Anthony Tudor, and Doug Varone. She is an elected representative of the East Central Region to the Board of Directors of the American College Dance Association (formerly ACDFA). She is currently writing a textbook on dance production to be published by Human Kinetics.