Brought to you by the letter Z for Jazz, baby!

Zap! …I really can’t believe the month is over and this is the last A-Z challenge post! No more daily Nita in your inbox!

I love the letter Z. There are a lot of great things I could have written about that actually start with a z, but I found out just a few minutes ago that today, April 30th, is actually International Jazz Day!

Jazz hands, everyone!  Yeah!
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Today I’m going to show you a couple of original fusion pieces I choreographed for the dancers to perform to LIVE Big Band music back in 2011. Bellydance meets Big Band!

OMG it’s the most amazing feeling to be on the big stage with a full 18-piece big band behind you. Amazing! I wish every dancer could experience it.

First, here is a new one that hasn’t hit my website yet (because I only uploaded it to YouTube about 10 minutes ago). Orange Colored Sky!

And here they are again, dancing to another great big band standard: Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps.

And last but not least…and entirely appropriate for the very last post of the A-Z in April challenge: our Rockin’ the Casbah FINALE done to New York, New York.

Phew! Can’t believe it’s over.  It’s over, baby!

I hope you had as much fun this month as I did!

I’d love to hear from you…which post was your favourite?

ZI’m participating in the Blogging From A-Z challenge.  One blog post for each letter of the alphabet, each day of April (except Sunday).

…but don’t go away! I’ll still be blogging, just not every day, regular as clockwork!

Y: Yukon meditation

In 2012 I did a series of one minute films that I called “one Yukon minute.” The idea was to spend one minute in meditation, looking at a photograph…except it would be a living photograph, with movement and sound. Serene. Tranquil. Something to reflect on and calm the mind. A moving meditation, so to speak.

Taking a moment – even just one minute – to stop and mediate on something beautiful helps to bring balance to our lives. Each film is one minute long. Here are two of my favourites:

Filmed October 7, 2012. Sunset at the Fox Lake house.

and…

One month later, November 10, 2012. The beginning of freeze-up at the Fox Lake house.

YI’m participating in the Blogging From A-Z challenge.  One blog post for each letter of the alphabet, each day of April (except Sunday)

X is for Xylophone!

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C’mon…raise your hands. How many of you think of this little toy when you hear the word xylophone?

Actually, the term xylophone also includes instruments such as the marimba, the semantron and the vibes. BUT (for you purists – I’m talkin’ to you, Mr. C…) while vibes are often called xylophones, they aren’t actually a true xylophone. This is because, unlike the xylophone, each vibraphone bar has a resonator tube with a motor-driven valve at one end that produces a tremolo. Also unlike a true xylophone, the vibraphone also has a sustain pedal like a piano.

Does hearing the xylophone have the same effect on you that it does on this cat?

I hope not, because I’ve assembled a few very short clips for your enjoyment:

Take a breath and hold onto our seat for Ralph Heid, the worlds fastest xylophone virtuoso playing the Flight of the Bumblebee!

Do you prefer jazz? How about the  master of the vibraphone, jazz-giant Lionel Hampton!

How about the William Tell Overture featuring Dan Marquis on xylophone with the Indiana Wind Orchestra:

Perhaps you prefer your xylophone to be more…organic?

Or maybe you prefer zen-xylophone (this is actually very neat and worth the watch)…

And how about a piece of classical music written especially for the xylophone:

Would you like to make your own xylophone?

XI’m participating in the Blogging From A-Z challenge.  One blog post for each letter of the alphabet, each day of April (except Sunday)