Photos by Hillary Ehlen
Fargo-Moorhead Ballet (FMBallet) is a professional dance performance company that presents ballet, jazz, moderns and tap under the artistic direction of Matt Gasper. Recognized nationally for the original choreography and quality artists, Gasper gives us insight into FMBallet and its impact in the community.
How did the FMBallet come to be?
Matt Gasper: When I moved back to the Fargo-Moorhead area from New York, I saw there was a need for a professional ballet company.
What all does the FMBallet offer throughout the year?
MG: We produce three full productions each season. The first is a Halloween themed ballet in October, which includes a community costume contest with a lot of great prizes donated from local businesses. Our traditional December production of The Classic Nutcracker, which we perform alongside the fantastic Wonderland Orchestra. In the spring, we have our nicknamed “Storybook Ballet.” This April, we’re excited about the regional premiere of “Aladdin” at the Fargo Theatre.
In what ways can people get involved — on stage or off?
MG: The FMBallet is proud to be a fee-free program for dancers who are a part of the show. Our production auditions are open to all area dancers and movers ages six to adult. We strongly believe in providing the chance for all dancers to dance alongside our professional company of dancers in these productions. We have many volunteer options for our productions, all you need to do is ask. We are always looking for interested board members.
How do live entertainment options affect a community and the culture?
MG: I think it’s the whole experience that’s attractive about live performance. From getting dressed up at home to entering the theater to becoming connected to those on the stage and being able to experience the performance with them.
What about FMBallet specifically adds to the culture of Fargo-Moorhead? What’s unique about it?
MG: It’s the only professional ballet company in the area that produces three live performances a season. We are recognized nationally for the artistic attributes, too.
Is there a story you’d like to share about its impact in the community?
MG: This season, we collaborated with Bonanzaville and after our performance, a woman approached me and said this was her and her 80-year-old mother’s Christmas evening out. Neither one of them had ever seen a ballet before. They were so amazed; it brought them to tears. Live performances change people — even if it’s just for a moment. A live dance performance changes you forever.
April 21 at 2 & 7 p.m.
April 22 at 2 p.m.
314 Broadway N, Fargo
524 7th St N, Fargo