Maple Grove Dancer turns Movie Producer
Within the walls of the Escalate Dance and Theatre Studio in Osseo is where Andrew Tamarkin developed his love of the arts.
“I grew up in Maple Grove and I grew up dancing at Escalate,” Tamarkin said. “This place is really a safe space. It’s a place where kids can come from their days and really just focus on themselves and on art, and on expressing themselves in an active way.”
The Maple Grove native now expresses himself in ways beyond dance. He recently wrote and produced a film called, “The Promise of the Butterfly.”
The movie debuted at the Vail Film Festival earlier this month, and it’s making its Twin Cities debut in Hopkins this weekend.
Several Escalate alumni played big roles.
“I think it would have been impossible not to involve the studio,” Tamarkin said.
Tamarkin is now based in Chicago, and that’s where he met Meredith Kirkman.
“We’re both kind of surprised we’re in this industry,” Kirkman said. “It kind of happened very organically.”
Kirkman directed this coming-of-age story about a young artist who discovers his path in life with the help of a mute dancer.
“I went to school for musical theater with a dance emphasis, but I’ve always kind of had a knack for directing,” she said.
Production on “The Promise of the Butterfly” took place over a six-week span in the spring of 2018 on a budget of about $20,000.
“We really utilized connections we have, and your ticket in was passion,” Kirkman said.
They couldn’t compensate everyone involved, so many did it just for the experience.
“Most people were under the age of 35, involved in this,” Kirkman said. “Which is also a cool, fun fact.”
Meanwhile, for Tamarkin, this movie is one big step in a journey that started in Maple Grove and Osseo.
“It’s a coming of age story for everybody,” Tamarkin said. “And we want people to leave and think about what really makes them happy, what experiences they enjoy, and to really just go for it.”
The Hopkins Center for the Arts will host a screening for The Promise of the Butterfly on Saturday, Aug 24.