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Release: Immediate

Berkey unveils new dance company in Aug. 22-23 UI performances

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa Dance Department faculty member David Berkey will unveil his new David Berkey Dance Company in "Modus Operandi" at 8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, August 22-23, in the Space/Place Theatre of UI North Hall.

"Modus Operandi" will feature four new dances choreographed by Berkey, plus two Berkey-repertory favorites restaged for the company. "Out of the Blue" from 1994 is a romantic romp danced to old standards, while "Blind Date" is the lighthearted narrative that was honored at the regional American College Dance Festival in 1993, performed by its original cast.

New dances include "Nomad," a male duet based on the story of Cain; "Along Came the Spider," a provocative male/female duet; and "Modus Operandi," an ensemble work for the company with music by Iowa City composer Paul Cunliffe.

Dancers Jeff Curtis, Lisa Kneller, Chalie Livingston and Daniel Stark return to their Iowa City dance roots to form the four-member company. All worked extensively with Berkey as UI students before graduating to join professional companies including Pennsylvania Dance Theatre, Shapiro and Smith Dance, MEGATRON and Corning Dances and Company.

Berkey has choreographed more than 40 dances for the students at the UI. "Critical Mass" and the lyric men's quartet "Sentinel" are two recent dances that were enthusiastically received by Iowa audiences. "Sentinel" has been invited into the repertories of major international dance companies including Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet and France's Ballet du Nord.

Berkey has staged and created dances for noted companies and universities including Ballet Arizona, the Eugene Ballet, The Yard Inc., the University of Hawaii, the University of Arizona and the University of Oregon.

Barbara Allen wrote in the Honolulu Star Bulletin, "Berkey's 'Tango Della Morte' is the finest piece of the evening. Both the dancing and choreography transcend the stage and take the audience to a world beyond."

Admission to the Aug. 22-23 debut performances of the David Berkey Dance Company will be $6, ($4 for UI students) at the door.