A contemporary dance drama loosely based on the “The Firebird” ballet, FIREBIRD portrays three generations of dancers: 17-year-old ballerina Ruby Lightfoot; her mother, Nan, a thwarted ballerina who is now a flamenco dancer in the South of France, and Ruby’s grandmother, Wilma -- a traditional Shawl Dancer, and the heart and hub of the family.

LOGLINE: A gifted teenage Cherokee ballerina with a fractured family life wins a prestigious grant to dance her dream ballet in La Camargue, the cowboy-and-Gypsy heart of France. Called home amid great heartache, she creates her own maverick dance company, fusing flamenco, hip hop and traditional dance in a Cirque de Soleil-esque performance honoring her Native roots -- and reuniting her family.

Creative Statement: FIREBIRD is my post-modern homage to "the Five Moons" -- Maria Tallchief, the first American prima ballerina, and the four other magnificent Oklahoma Indian ballerinas who danced with the Ballets Russes in the mid-20th century: Marjorie Tallchief, Rosella Hightower, Yvonne Chouteau, and Moscylene Larkin. A desire to "pay-it-forward" to the Cherokee Nation, and the work of Rulan Tangen, world-renowned Metis dancer/choreographer/founder of Dancing Earth were my inital inspirations to write this 21st-century Native version of The Firebird, a universally charismatic and interpreted myth of faith, passion, and renewal. My FIREBIRD vision is to showcase American Indian and French Gitan actors, dancers, and musicians in an exuberant, cinematically beautiful, and ultimately “feel good” tale of love, loss, and glory.


Awards and Endorsements:

    • Quarterfinalist, Austin Film Festival, 2017
    • Final Rounder, Sundance Screenwriters Lab, 2016
    • Officially endorsed by the Cherokee Nation, 2016
    • Winner, Best Feature Screenplay, Moondance International Film Festival, 2014 "Moondance ...honors those artists who, through their creative work, actively increase awareness, provide multiple viewpoints, address complex social issues, and strengthen ties between international audiences.”