BARRY JENKINS TO DIRECT ALVIN AILEY BIOPIC *GASP*
By Awa Gueye
June 5, 2019
By now we should all know Barry Jenkins, if not from Moonlight then maybe from walking down Beale Street. Jenkins has a reputation for his visually stunning films. More than the words, the cinematography stands strong on its own, coloring in the stories he tells beautifully. This is exactly why I’m over the moon about Jenkins’ next project which will be an Alvin Ailey biopic.
Alvin Ailey was born in Rogers, Texas in 1931. He was introduced to dance in Los Angeles after seeing performances of Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and the Katherine Dunham Dance Company. His formal training began with Lester Horton’s dance classes, one of the first racially integrated dance studios. In 1953, after his passing, Ailey took over the Lester Horton dance studio becoming the director and choreographing. He performed in four Broadway plays between the 1950’s and 60’s.
In a successful effort to preserve African American culture while enriching the American modern dance world, Ailey founded the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1958. He deservingly was awarded a Kennedy honor in 1988 for his overwhelming contribution to American culture and the work he did throughout his life to uplift underserved communities.
This necessary story is in the right hands. I am already drooling.