Film in the works about famed choreographer born in Central Texas

Published: Jun. 3, 2019 at 4:38 PM CDT
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Barry Jenkins will direct a film based on the life of choreographer Alvin Ailey, who was born in 1931 in Rogers.

A spokesperson for Fox Searchlight on Monday confirmed that the studio is developing the project, with the "Moonlight" filmmaker directing.

Jenkins last helmed the Oscar-nominated James Baldwin adaptation "If Beale Street Could Talk."

Reared in segregated rural Texas, Ailey became a pioneering choreographer, dancer and director who helped popularize modern dance.

He founded a dance company of his own in New York City before he turned 30.

He died in 1989 at the age of 58 from AIDS-related complications.

In 2014, President Barack Obama awarded him a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom.

“Alvin said that ‘Dance came from the people and that it should always be delivered back to the people,’” Obama said during the presentation.

“Alvin Ailey delivered, both through his life and through the dance company that will forever bear his name.”

The film will be partly based on Jennifer Dunning's biography "Alvin Ailey: A Life in Dance."

Searchlight last year began developing the film after securing the rights to Ailey's choreography from the Ailey Organization.

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