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Author: Claudia La Rocco
Source: New York Times
Date: December 30, 2007


After 10 years of performing his work Otto Ramstad of Minneapolis is hardly a green choreographer. But like many other out-of-towners, he still faces an uphill battle in getting New York institutions to take note, especially since he has moved from site-specific and film work to theater-based work only in the last couple of years.

Mr. Ramstad, speaking by phone from Japan, called the audition surreal, adding that he performed in a “dream state” and, as a result, couldn’t really gauge how he did.

“I came to New York for a day and a half to do it,” he said of his Fresh Tracks audition. “I spent more time in the airport and on airplanes than I did auditioning, and being in the basement of D.T.W. was kind of like being in the airport. I went to D.T.W., then I went to the new MoMA to see the last day of the giant steel sculptures — the Richard Serra exhibit — and then I went back to the airport. I had rehearsed for two hours before getting on the plane, and then I went right back to the rehearsal room in Minneapolis.”

Mr. Ramstad said it was not always easy for him, like many out-of-town choreographers, to have his work seen in New York.

“I don’t necessarily see it as the first step” to the Brooklyn Academy of Music, he said, laughing. “I’ve been merging in different fields at different times. Now I’m trying to figure out how to emerge.”