Eddie Gasper (1929 – 2015) came to the area as Director/Choreographer at Minnesota State University, Moorhead. Eddie Gasper and his wife and dance partner Kathy were instrumental to developing the performing arts in the Fargo-Moorhead community, believing the area capable of fostering world-class talent.
Eddie was former co-artistic director/choreographer for the Red River Dance and Performing Company from 1978-1995 and directed the main-stage musical at Trollwood Performing Arts School from 1981-1991.
Under the artistic direction of Eddie and Kathy Gasper, the Red River Dance and Performing Company became one of the most respected regional touring companies in the nation. Currently, their school and company live on as Gasper’s School of Dance (previously Carousel Dance Company) and FMBallet, under the direction of their son, Matthew.
Eddie has been commissioned by the New York Metropolitan Opera Ballet Company, worked through the League of Regional Theatre, and was guest artist/instructor in various universities and organizations. Eddie was also Bob Fosse’s assistant for over a decade, working with him on and off Broadway and in Hollywood.
In London, he choreographed at the Palladium for the BBC’s Talk of the Town. On Broadway, he choreographed Fig Leaves are Falling, with Barry Nelson and Dorothy Loudon, and appeared as lead dancer in Can Can, Sweet Charity, West Side Story, Irma la Douce, Music Man, and Guys and Dolls. Eddie has directed night club acts for Juliet Prowse and Jedy Carne, and has also directed Ginger Rogers, Phil Silvers, Donald O’Connor, Agnes Moorhead, Kathryn Grayson, and Howard Keel, to name a few.
Eddie has also had the pleasure of working under the direction of Jerome Robbins, Agnes DeMille, Michael Kidd, and Onna White.
The Gaspers’ dedication to artistry brought invitations to tour the former Soviet Union, perform at the World Fair in Barcelona, Spain, Tivoli Gardens in Denmark, showcase their choreography in Washington, D.C., and tour extensively throughout the U.S. and Canada.
The Eddie Gasper Legacy Fund has been set up to honor his life and legacy; the Legacy Fund is designed to make the arts accessible to everyone in the community.