Philadelphia Ballet dancer doing a costume fitting with Moore Fashion Design students. Photo by Lita Slaughter.

Philadelphia, PA (January 11, 2023) — Building on the success of their collaboration in 2022–2023, Philadelphia Ballet and Moore College of Art & Design (“Moore”) have teamed up once again to provide a one-of-a-kind learning experience for students in Moore’s Fashion Design program. This academic year, the relationship has expanded with a student costume design experience inspired by George Balanchine's The Nutcracker®. The project is part of Philadelphia Ballet’s award-winning Community Education and Public Programs, which provide rich access to dance and a connection to the arts. 

“Hands-on educational experiences and ongoing relationships with organizations such as Philadelphia Ballet generate groundbreaking, real-world opportunities that prepare our students for career success,” shares Cathy Young, president, Moore College of Art & Design. “Designing for the stage requires a sophisticated understanding of how the garments will move, how the fabric will appear under stage lighting, and how the designs can support the overall production, so this experience is a significant learning opportunity for our students as they explore their craft and potential career opportunities. As we celebrate Moore’s 175th anniversary, we’re proud to continue our longstanding tradition of connecting students with the larger Philadelphia art community and the unique experiences our cultural institutes can provide to complement what they’re learning on our campus.”

As part of Moore’s Fashion Design program, 10 students in their junior year worked directly with Philadelphia Ballet during the fall 2023 semester to design and create costumes inspired by four Nutcracker themes: coffee, tea, candy cane and hot chocolate. From initial concepting to designs, dancer fittings and modifications, to performer photography in the new costumes, students acted as professional costume designers under the advisement of Moore faculty Francine Martini and Morgan Porter in collaboration with Sarah Cooper, creative director of Community Education and Public Programs, Philadelphia Ballet and Jennifer Tierney, wardrobe manager, Philadelphia Ballet. The designs and photography of the dancers in costume will be on view in The Galleries at Moore in an exhibition, Reimagining a Holiday Classic: Costume Designs Inspired by The Nutcracker, from January 25 through March 16.

"The collaboration between Philadelphia Ballet and the talented students of Moore College of Art & Design in designing The Nutcracker costumes exemplifies the intersection of creativity, innovation and tradition,” said Sarah Cooper, creative director, Community Education & Public Programs for Philadelphia Ballet. “This partnership not only showcases the artistic prowess of our city but also provides a unique platform for emerging designers to contribute their fresh perspectives to a beloved holiday classic. Together, we weave a tapestry that not only adorns our dancers but celebrates the vibrant artistic spirit that defines Philadelphia's cultural landscape."

George Balanchine's grand spectacle, The Nutcracker®, has captivated generations of audiences with resplendent costumes, opulent sets and spectacular choreography. As part of the collaboration between Philadelphia Ballet and Moore, students had the opportunity to attend a performance of The Nutcracker to see firsthand how costumes are employed by the performers. For several of the students, it was their first time seeing a live ballet performance, broadening their horizons with further cultural enrichment beyond the costume design experience. 

To celebrate the Moore students’ achievements, Philadelphia Ballet II dancers will hold a special performance for the opening of the exhibition Reimagining a Holiday Classic: Costume Designs Inspired by The Nutcracker. The performance and opening reception are free and open to the public from 5:30–7:30 pm on Thursday, January 25 in The Galleries at Moore Atrium at 1916 Race Street, Philadelphia. 

For more information on the event and to RSVP, visit the Moore events page


About Philadelphia Ballet 

Founded in 1963 by Barbara Weisberger, a protégé of George Balanchine, Philadelphia Ballet is one of the nation's premier ballet companies and a true cultural treasure of Philadelphia. Furthering a nearly sixty-year artistic lineage in Philadelphia, The Ruth & A. Morris Williams, Jr. Artistic Director Angel Corella leads an ensemble of 48 dancers from around the world and an ever-evolving repertoire of classic and contemporary works. The Dr. Carolyn Newsom Executive Director Shelly Power spearheads development and strategic plans to strengthen and expand the company's presence and impact locally, nationally, and internationally. Recognized as one of the top ten ballet companies in the United States, Philadelphia Ballet's 33-member Board of Trustees is led by local business leader and philanthropist David F. Hoffman. In addition to its performances on the Kimmel Center Cultural Campus, Philadelphia Ballet serves more than 30,000 individuals across the region every year with hands-on arts education and engagement activities brought to children and adults alike regardless of ability or socioeconomic background. For more, visit or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Philadelphia Ballet is supported in part by a grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Community & Economic Development and receives support from The Philadelphia Cultural Fund and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

About Moore College of Art & Design 

Founded during the original industrial revolution to advance women in new fields, Moore College of Art & Design is the first and only historically women’s college for art and design. Our mission is more relevant than ever, as technology, sustainability and diverse cultures drive and disrupt new and existing industries. Through dynamic BFA and Graduate Studies programs, educational programs for creatively curious youth and professional adult learners, and our own public and dedicated space for contemporary art—The Galleries at Moore—we are influencers and advocates for breakthrough artists and designers of all ages and backgrounds. The world needs Moore. For more information about Moore, visit and follow us on social media @moorecollegeart. 


Elissa Hill
Signature 57, on behalf of Moore College of Art & Design | 814.952.1170

Nicole Steinberg
Chief Creative & Communications Officer, Moore College of Art & Design | 215.965.8561

Lindsay Doyle
Philadelphia Ballet | 215.275.6541

Featured image: Philadelphia Ballet II artist Katie Cerny doing a costume fitting with Moore Fashion Design students. Garment design: Syniah Coleman '23, Fashion Design. Photo by Lita Slaughter.