David Berkey, who was a UI dance faculty member for 19 years, including a three-year stint as department chair, died on October 31, 2004 in Tucson, Arizona.
His modern-dance choreography was a frequent part of Dance Gala productions and faculty concerts at the University of Iowa. He created some of his most renowned pieces at the Un. Iowa, including "Sentinel," which has been performed in companies from Canada to China. Berkey held degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, and a Masters of Arts degree from the University of California at Los Angeles, and he served on the faculties of Western Washington University, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, the University of Oregon, and the University of Hawaii, in addition to the Un. Of Iowa, and he completed his career at the University of Arizona. In his career as a professional dancer, he was a soloist with the Staatstheater Kassel in Germany.
David Berkey created more than 80 dances for university-based and professional dance companies, with performances in China, Canada, France, and Germany, as well as throughout the United States. David Berkey staged his dances for Ballet du Nord of Roubaix, France, the Eugene Ballet, the Yard Inc. in Chilmark, Massachusetts, and numerous university-based dance companies. In 1990 David was honored for his choreography by the National American College Dance Festival held in Denton, Texas. That same year his dances were seen at the fifth Hong Kong International Dance Festival.
In 1995 David Berkey was selected for the choreographer's residency at the Yard Inc., a colony of performing artists in Chilmark, Massachusetts. In 1996 he was awarded a Carlisle Project workshop.
In 1997 he created his own small company, David Berkey Dance, and also was commissioned to create a new dance for American Ballet Theater Studio Company, the junior company to American's foremost ballet company.