Singer-songwriter Alicia Keys now adds the title of producer to her repertoire. According to Deadline, the “Empire State of Mind” artist will produce a film based on the life of Alvin Ailey. Keys will be joined by fellow producers Judy Kinberg and Susan Lewis, and Rachel Cohen and Jana Edelbaum from iDeal Partners.
Fox Searchlight will work closely with artistic directors Robert Battle and Emerita Judith Jamison to bring Ailey’s story to life. Ailey was an African American choreographer and activist who founded the famous dance company, The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, in 1958. He helped to popularize modern dance as well as African American participation in 20th-century concert dance. In 2014, President Barack Obama selected Ailey to be a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom exactly 25 years after Ailey’s death.
The Ailey organization backs the film and Fox Searchlight also secured the rights to Jennifer Dunning’s seminal biography Alvin Ailey: A Life In Dance. Battle, one of the film’s artistic directors said in a statement, “We are thrilled to be working with these incredible partners to bring to the screen the amazing journey and revolutionary choreography of Alvin Ailey, whose life and legacy profoundly impacted people of all backgrounds around the world.”