Using a Digital Stage Backdrop

Studio owner Carole Royal of Royal Dance Works in Phoenix, Arizona has gone totally digital when it comes to her backdrops. She chooses a selection of free, high-resolution images from morguefile.com and compiles them in a binder. Faculty choose which image they'd like for which number, and Royal creates a show-order book of printed images to share with her projector technician. He creates a digital-image playlist for the show. "We have front porches, cafeteria backgrounds," she says. "We'll use a mosaic or granite, something abstract, for contemporary numbers." There are moving-image options, too, like cars driving down a street and clouds drifting by.

Not a cheap venture: It costs $2,600 for three days' use of a projector and the technician. But Royal says it's worth it. You'll need a cyclorama to project the images onto, and dancers must remain four feet in front of it, so the images don't project onto their bodies.

Photo courtesy of Carole Royal

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