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Set the scene: 10 favorite recital backdrops

Grosh Backdrops and Drapery's 'Around the World' backdrop.
Grosh Backdrops and Drapery's 'Around the World' backdrop.

A recital or end-of-year performance is not just about the dancing. It’s about the whole package – costumes, lights, themes and eye-catching backdrops. For some great quality and beautifully-designed backdrops, we love Grosh Backdrops and Drapery. And for help with choosing your next backdrop, we turned to the artists and staff at Grosh to help narrow down their top 10 favorite backdrops. Here they are!

#1. Oz Emerald City

Grosh Backdrops and Drapery's 'Emerald City' backdrop.

Grosh Backdrops and Drapery’s ‘Emerald City’ backdrop.

Like the classic story that this design is based on, Emerald City will never go out of style. The Wizard of Oz is one of the most well-known films and theater productions of all time and is one of the most popular shows that Grosh rents products for, according to Amanda Uhlein, president of Grosh. “This backdrop features a beautiful green landscape with colorful poppies along the yellow brick road and a glistening Emerald City off in the distance,” Uhlein describes.” It is no surprise that this backdrop always makes it to the top of Grosh’s most favorite backdrops in inventory.

#2. Art Deco

Grosh Backdrops and Drapery's 'Art Deco' backdrop.

Grosh Backdrops and Drapery’s ‘Art Deco’ backdrop.

“The Art Deco backdrop features a design that recalls the splendor of the visual arts movement that captivated the world in the first half of the 20th century,” Uhlein says. “Art deco has influenced architecture, fashion and culture throughout the world with its streamlined and geometric designs that are pleasing to the eye, and this became a fixture for many dance and event planners.” The drop is actually painted on a black muslin material, so the drop is lightweight and will last for years to come.

#3. Around the World (above)

This is one of Grosh’s most popular and sought-after backdrops. Around the World features several renowned landmarks and monuments from around the world. Uhlein explains that so many of the dance companies Grosh works with have asked for a design that encompasses “Around the World” or dancing around the world. “While Grosh has created other similar designs before, this design really captures a unique perspective with the curvature of the earth – a first for this type of backdrop design in the industry,” Uhlein adds.

Grosh Backdrops and Drapery's 'Winter Small Town' backdrop.

Grosh Backdrops and Drapery’s ‘Winter Small Town’ backdrop.

#4. Winter Small Town 

The Winter Small Town evokes the spirit of the holidays and the winter season. The backdrop features a warm glow from shop fronts and street lights, along with falling snow and a fading sunset. “It creates the cozy feeling of comfort we all affiliate with home and the holiday season,” Uhlein explains. “The artist was able to capture the subtle and loose feel of a small town in winter. It really does feel like this backdrop is from another era.”

#5. Elements 

Grosh Backdrops and Drapery's 'Elements' backdrop.

Grosh Backdrops and Drapery’s ‘Elements’ backdrop.

A different take on the ever popular “Dancing Through the Seasons”, this drop features a dancer in each of four elements: Earth, Water, Fire and Air. Uhlein describes, “Earth holds a strong pose, rooted firmly yet still allowing for its limbs and foliage to move gracefully. Water is pictured outstretched and in flow, with a splash of flare to accentuate movement. Fire is pictured jumping and leaping mid-dance across the scene, just as flames would across a log. And finally, Air is pictured as flying and twirling upward and away. This artist has come up with a beautiful and unique way to illustrate this important and popular theme for dance.”

#6. Fantasy Forest 

Grosh Backdrops and Drapery's 'Fantasy Forest' backdrop.

Grosh Backdrops and Drapery’s ‘Fantasy Forest’ backdrop.

This backdrop features thick foliage and vivid colors, and really works for many types of dance and theatrical performances. “The darker greens allow for the purples and pinks to pop, while the golden/yellow hue on the horizon offers a nice contrast while also contributing to that warm and welcoming feeling,” Uhlein notes. “When paired with the matching arch, it’s as if a window were cut into this forest for the audience to view what unfolds within. This is a really classic feeling forest and has a fantasy feeling.”

#7. New York Street 

Grosh Backdrops and Drapery's 'New York Street' backdrop.

Grosh Backdrops and Drapery’s ‘New York Street’ backdrop.

This drop is an excellent representation of New York City in both soul and style but remains timeless. Viewers get that distinctly New York vibe and appearance, yet Uhlein explains that Grosh omitted any modern architecture so as to utilize this backdrop in a multitude of shows reflecting different time periods.

#8. Circus Tent Interior 2 

Grosh Backdrops and Drapery's 'Circus Tent Interior 2' backdrop.

Grosh Backdrops and Drapery’s ‘Circus Tent Interior 2’ backdrop.

The Circus Tent Interior 2 backdrop is one of Uhlein’s personal favorites because she says it gives her a sense of nostalgia. “The vibrant colors and incredible details really capture the true feel of being at a traditional circus,” she says.

#9. ‘80s Montage 

Grosh Backdrops and Drapery's ''80s Montage' backdrop.

Grosh Backdrops and Drapery’s ”80s Montage’ backdrop.

This backdrop is a true throwback! As a small child of the ‘80s, Uhlein says she adores just about everything this decade has to offer, from the “bad hair” to the “totally rad clothes”, and adds that Grosh’s ‘80s Montage drop reminds her of “the better times when there were Rubiks Cube challenges and games like Pac Man ruled the arcades.” This drop is sure to light up any stage with its neon glow.

#10. Village with Scary Castle 

Grosh Backdrops and Drapery's 'Village with Scary Castle' backdrop.

Grosh Backdrops and Drapery’s ‘Village with Scary Castle’ backdrop.

This is one of Grosh’s spookiest drops used for performances such as Young Frankenstein, Harry Potter and Sleepy Hallow. This drop is one of Uhlein’s favorite creepy backdrops that will set the mood for any classic horror or old world look and feel. “Although the colors are dark, they pop in all the right ways, from the bright yellow moon to the purple hues as dusk falls,” she says.

For more information on Grosh Backdrops and Drapery, and to browse or order any of the above, head to

By Laura Di Orio of Dance Informa.

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