Halloween on pointe: FMBallet’s Spooky Ballets feature ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’

Dancers rehearse for “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” FMBallet’s 2022 Spooky Ballets production set for 7 p.m. Oct. 29 and 2 p.m. Oct. 30. Tickets at fmballet.org. Contributed photo/FMBallet

It’s been 40 years since Tim Burton wrote a poem titled “The Nightmare Before Christmas” that later inspired the 1993 stop-motion animated production by the same name, which has since tickled—and terrified—children and adults across the world. 

Now, professional dance company FMBallet hopes to bring some Rated G thrills and chills with its very own dance-inspired depiction of “The Nightmare Before Christmas” set at The Fargo Theatre just ahead of Halloween on Oct. 29 and 30. 

The performances are choreographed by FMBallet Artistic Director Matthew Gasper, as well as guest artists Patrick Kasper and Colby Foss.

If you go

What: Spooky Ballets 2022 — “The Nightmare Before Christmas”

When: 7 p.m. on Oct. 29 and 2 p.m. on Oct. 30

Where: Fargo Theatre

Tickets: Purchase online or in person at Gasper’s School of Dance in downtown Fargo or the Osgood location 

It’s not the first time FMBallet has performed the Burton classic. Lacey Gasper, Gasper’s School of Dance and FMBallet director of design, said the troupe performed “Nightmare” back in 2019.

“It’s a crowd favorite,” Matt Gasper said. “We have so much fun and with a jam-packed fall schedule, it’s just going to be a lot of fun.”

Audience members are encouraged to dress up and participate in a costume contest to be held during both performances. 

Expect to see dancers of all ages, sizes and abilities. The nonprofit organization opened up auditions for the production earlier this summer and welcomed dancers and movers ages eight and older to participate. 

“We opened auditions for the production for the first time since 2010” Lacey Gasper said. “Our company loves to collaborate with local dancers, and give them an opportunity and experience to dance alongside the professional company. Something they may otherwise not have the opportunity to do, especially since the FMBallet company does not charge an activity fee.”

“The Nightmare Before Christmas” is a prelude to a winter 2022 and spring 2023 season packed with crowd favorites like “The Classic Nutcracker” and “Peter Pan.” Here’s what’s next for FMBallet.

“The Classic Nutcracker” comes back to Festival Concert Hall Dec. 16-18. Tickets at fmballet.org. Contributed image/FMBallet

Winter/spring performances and FMBallet Season 19

FMBallet will be putting on its rendition of “The Classic Nutcracker” Dec. 16-18 at NDSU Festival Concert Hall. Flex passes go on sale Oct. 26 and general sales begin Oct. 31. Auditions are closed.

WATCH: Dancers audition for The Nutcracker Suite

Contributed image/FMBallet

Spring 2023 will include a ballet version of the classic “Peter Pan” on May 6 and 7 at the Fargo Theatre. Tickets will go on sale March 15, 2023, and auditions, open to all area dancers ages six to adult (all levels welcome), will be held Jan. 8, 2023. Details at fmballet.org.

FMBallet opens its Season 19 in 2023. Contributed image/FMBallet

Next season’s two-week summer performance intensive will be open to dancers ages six to 18 where students will study under FMBallet company members. Participants will also learn about costume design, props and event marketing. The intensive program commences with a live, free community performance on Broadway Square, downtown Fargo. 


Always on pointe

A staff of more than 20 dance instructors, ranging in styles from classic to jazz to modern, help create performances everyone can enjoy.


The ballet strives to bring quality performances to the community through a mix of educational programming, classes, training that are open to everyone ages three to 93. (Their youngest dancer is three and their oldest is in her 60s.)


“Our staff is packed with talent to share with anybody who wants to come dance with us. Our instructors are just amazing and that’s why we’re so good at what we do. They really allow us to bring the quality of dance education and expertise to Fargo-Moorhead,” Gasper said.

Catch up with Gasper and his team’s future plans for Gasper School of Dance and FMBallet on a recent episode of TAP Talk. 

Matt Gasper of FM Ballet joins us for TAP Talk

Tickets, info, audition schedule, calendar of events and more are available at fmballet.org.

About the author

Lonna Whiting is a freelance writer and owner of lonna.co, a content marketing and communications agency located in Fargo, North Dakota. She is a frequent contributor to The Arts Partnership’s content library and also provides strategic communications consultation to the organization.




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