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Short: The Art Behind The Art

Before a ballet can be performed, dancers need to know their moves, tickets must be sold, and musicians hired. Oh, and the performers need something to wear.

At the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Janet Campbell and her in-house shop is responsible for bringing dancers’ costumes to life. For each production, the ballet hires a costume designer who delivers drawings of their idea for how the dancers’ costumes should look. But from there, Campbell and the employees at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre are pretty much on their own.

“There are no instructions, no patterns,” she said. “We make all of those ourselves and we shop and buy the fabrics that we think will make the design look wonderful.”

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Margaret J. Krauss is WESA's development and transportation reporter. She previously worked for Keystone Crossroads, a statewide reporting initiative that covers problems facing Pennsylvania's cities and possible solutions. Before joining Keystone Crossroads, Margaret produced a 48-part radio series about Pittsburgh's lesser-known history, biking 2,000 miles around the region to do so.