Ka portrait

Karen Aqua (1954-2011) was a New England-based filmmaker and animator who graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1976. She began producing animated shorts for Sesame Street in 1990 and had produced, directed, and animated 22 segments for the show since then. She passed away in May of 2011 after a decade of fighting ovarian cancer.

She wrote the lyrics and melody for the majority of her animations. Her husband, Ken Field, collaborated on the melody for some pieces, as well as providing chords and arrangements for most of them. Any exceptions to this are noted below.

Standalone Segments

Picture Description
AnimalFootsteps
Animals on Parade (EKA: Episode 2794)

(alternate title: "Tempo & Rhythm: Animals on Parade")
An elephant, a zebra, an ostrich, a hedgehog, a frog, and a ladybug each walk to their own rhythm. They all jump on the elephant, who walks away.

music credit unknown
Percussion: Ken Winokur and Ken Field

3957zh
Dance to the Rhythm (EKA: Episode 2795)

A dog watches a girl and a crocodile dance, and then joins them.

Music: Ken Field
Percussion: Ken Winokur

Jungleroom.KarenAqua
Imagination: Jungle Fantasy (EKA: Episode 2856)

(alternate title: "Imagination")
A boy reads a book while his room transforms into a jungle.

music credit unknown


3136z
Tempo Fast/Slow (EKA: Episode 3072)

(alternate title: Fast/Slow)
Two birds dance fast and slow, while an alligator drums.

Lyrics: Karen Aqua
Vocals: Alicia Bell
Percussion: Ken Winokur

10sideddancing
Number Dance (EKA: Episode 3079)

Masked figures dance around numbers from one to ten. Both English and Spanish language versions were created.

Music: Ken Winokur
English Vocals: Alicia Bell
Spanish Vocals: Rosa Vasquez
Drums: Ken Winokur


3977y
Samba Line: Forward/Backward (EKA: Episode 3083)

(alternate title: Forward/Backward)
Ladies, birds, and fish march forward and backward.

Music: Ken Field
Vocals: Alicia Bell


3978o1
Outdoor Letter "N" (EKA: Episode 3377)

A woman dances around a stone structure which looks like a lowercase "n". This live-action film is shown backwards, and the "n" was found near Roswell, NM.

writer credits for the music are unknown
Dancer: Nancy Johns Fleming
Instruments: Dan Kellar (fiddle), Dinty Child (mandolin), Mickey Bones (spoons/washboard), Jesse Williams (bass).


Dancewithtiger
Move to the Beat (EKA: Episode 3387)

A girl dances with a tiger.

Vocals: Marlene Aqua
Girl: Zoe Aqua
Instruments:Jesse Williams (bass) and Ken Winokur (drums)

4127zc
Family Dance (EKA: Episode 3487)

A cut-out family dances together.

Vocals: Alicia Bell
Instruments: Ethan Meyer (drums), Jesse Williams(bass), Dana Colley(baritone sax), Alec Haavik (tenor sax), Ken Field (alto sax), Rick Barry (percussion)


DancingWithElmo
Dancing with Elmo (EKA: Episode 3505)

Cut-outs of Elmo and a dog named Dash dance, while Dash recites a poem.

Vocals: Randy Black
Instruments: Ethan Meyer (drums), Jesse Williams(bass), Dana Colley(baritone sax), Alec Haavik (tenor sax), Ken Field (alto sax), Rick Barry (percussion)

KAqua.animalrhythm
Building a Rhythm (EKA: Episode 3747)

Animals dance in unison and then in contrasting rhythms, accompanied by bottles, percussion instruments, and a clay drum.

Music: Ken Field

3976i
Pass-Along Alphabet (EKA: Episode 3740)

Cut-outs of kids and animals pass letters around to do the alphabet.

Music: Ken Field
Vocals: Rebeccah Lijek, Nick Gage, and Eva Eichen
Instruments: Ethan Meyer (drums), Mike Rivard (acoustic bass), and Ken Field (alto saxophones & percussion), . Clapping by Ken Field and Karen Aqua.
Kids: Mimi Rondeau, Suryani Dewa Ayu, Ryan Prothro, Haile Kahassai, Matt Yalouris, Jack Curci, Emma Hart, Peter Neusner, Isabel Cummings, Emma Child, Kine Camara, Tyrone Stewart, Trevor Tibbrine, Taylor Tibbrine, and Zoe Aqua.

4139u
Ten Dancing Kids (EKA: Episode 3902)

Animated cutouts of ten kids dance and "freeze".

Music: Ken Field
Counting Kids Voices: Zoe & Annie Aqua, Taylor Tibbrine, and Emma Hart
Dancing Kids: Mimi Rondeau, Ryan Prothro, Haile Kahassai, Matt Yalouris, Isabel Cummings, Emma Child, Kine Camara, Tyrone Stewart, Trevor Tibbrine, and Taylor Tibbrine.
Instruments: John Styklunas (electric bass), Eric Paul (drums), Ken Field (layered alto saxophones and percussion).
Engineered and mixed by: Andy Pinkham at Mortal Music, Charlestown, MA.

4113zq

4030p
Animal Dance Duet (EKA: Episode 4015) (elephant) (EKA: Episode 4030) (octopus)

A girl dances with an elephant or octopus.

Girl: Rebecca Robinson
Vocals: Wanetta Jackson, Jesse Williams (elephant), Dinty Child (octopus)
Instruments: Steve Langone (drums and percussion), Jesse Williams (electric bass), Dinty Child (accordion), Ken Field (saxophones, samba whistle, and shaker), all plus Karen Aqua (clapping)
Engineered and mixed by: Andy Pinkham at Mortal Music, Charlestown, MA.


4139i
Rhyme Time (EKA: Episode 4045)

A frog and his friend hog go for a jog. A quail with a purple tail meets a snail on the trail.

Vocals: Franc Graham
Instruments: Phil Neighbors (drums), Jesse Williams (bass), Mike Duke (guitar)
Engineered and mixed by: Andy Pinkham at Mortal Music, Charlestown, MA.

4117s
Jumping J (EKA: Episode 4051)

A jaguar, a jackrabbit, a jaybird, and a jackal jump with a jumping J.

Vocals: Marjie Alonso
Instruments: Phil Neighbors (drums), Jesse Williams (bass), Mike Duke (guitar)
Engineered and mixed by: Andy Pinkham at Mortal Music, Charlestown, MA.


DancingFlowers
Dancing with the Flowers (EKA: Episode 4058)

A girl dances with flowers, trees and the sun.

Girl: Ella Williams
Vocals: Franc Graham
Instruments: Steve Langone (drums), Jesse Williams (acoustic bass), Dinty Child (mandolin and accordion), Karen Aqua (spoons), Ken Field (percussion)
Engineered and mixed by: Andy Pinkham at Mortal Music, Charlestown, MA.

Animated Series

Sources