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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 senior reporter. She covers development and transportation, and has produced award-winning podcasts on housing, work, and Pittsburgh’s lesser-known history. Before joining the newsroom full time, she covered the challenges facing Pennsylvania cities as a statewide reporter, and spent another life as an assistant editor for National Geographic Kids Magazine in Washington, D.C. She can be reached at mkrauss@wesa.fm.