Everything is new. New apartment. New degree. New motivation. New language. New opportunities. New outlook. New classes.

This past month, I've been teaching at the COHSI's Curiosity Project in Staten Island, curated by my friend and partner in dance crime, Melissa West. I also performed this saturday past at Jennifer Muller's HATCH series with Danielle Connolly. It was there that I met Jennifer Montoya of Touch Theory Dance and was invited to become part of her growing company. I will be styling for photographer Tim Goodwin for some of his headshot clients, and for Choreographer Trina Mannino for her recent work, set to shoot on May 10th. At this months end, I am co-hosting a workshop by one, wonderful Al Wunder from Australia! April 28th at the Randy Warshaw studios.

Now I know this is really a giant list, but writing it all out finally gives me a moment to say to myself...this is the beginning, how it starts. This is where it all gets rolling and keeps going until you look up later and say, hey! Look at all this stuff we made! All this work I've done.

And then you smile put your head down again, and keep going.

I'm keeping my head down for now-a brief reflection is okay for now, but no jumping away to the future without first doing the work. However-I'll still be smiling, even if it is at the ground for awhile :)

So we were talking, about life and love and expectation and hopes and goals...
kind of. I was super tired and not really totally engaging in the conversation because I was so wrapped up in memories and then...

Then my friend John said this:
focus on your heart. and your legs--make them move in ways that make you happy. and then your heart will follow. and then you will be in love.

Well that stopped me in my thought tracks. 
I needed that. 
I realize that it has been some time since I wrote in this blog. I have been looking...looking for so many things! What to do next how to move forward, and what direction to take. It's been a major thinking period in the choreography of life, and as a dancer and dance maker, I am forever constructing and deconstructing what I want and need to do in this life.

I have just returned from a two week trip. I'm not actually even home yet. I am sitting in a home in NJ, listening to my boyfriend play the piano as I make the decision-register for the yoga teacher training? Find work here and attend a local training? I'm not sure of the plan that is ahead-but I do know that I am making progress as my options become more specific and exact. Process can be a line, but more often, my process feels like a spiral. 

Everyone I meet is looking. Looking out or in, that is their journey-but I admire and respect the ways that we are all  finding and carving out our paths. One must act. One must make a decision. It may not be right, but hopefully we make it with the information and wisdom we have at the time. 

I believe very much in the intention of dance and life, and believe that no matter if your passion is gardening, computer sciences, or dance, it is your very intention that can begin whatever journey you are on. If you do not intend for something, will you be able to have any direction at all?

I hope your summer seeking is going well. 

Hee hee! I love this time-it's full of spazzy productivity for me. I am awaiting the arrival of my parents here in my little Bushwick abode, and I am so excited to see them! 
In the meantime there are techologies to wrangle and kitties to groom. 

Please check out the upcoming performances section of my website for full details about the show this Saturday! 

Hula Hoops, Apples, Lipsticks, questions and answers, 
You get the picture. 48 HOURS TO SHOWTIME PEOPLE!
For this edition of my blog I'd like to walk you through my discovery of my tail bone using the ever present guide of the theme to Duck Tales. Please review if you are not intimate with the lyrics...
Michael Sporn Animation-Dewey, Huey, & Louie.
Okay got that? MIGHT SOLVE A MYSTERY OR REWRITE HISTORY: So here's the thing. It says might. MIGHT. This is not a guarantee. What I learned from Duck Tales is that they were curious and asked lots of really annoying questions. I have been a ill attending student of Barbara Mahler since 2008, and let me tell you-I ask her a ton of annoying questions. So, if you want to find your tale you have to be really really curious and totally believe that it's there. Kinda like how Dewey, Huey, & Louie knew that Uncle Scrooge had a big ole heart beneath his greedy exterior. 

This is what you need to solve the mystery, curiosity and belief.
 If you are a dancer, and you haven't found your tail, take heed! There is hope because you were totally built with a tail bone. You wouldn't be dancing without it! But to actually KNOW it and feel the suspension it can offer you and the balance and support of the down and out motions rather than the typifying over and out motions of the over trained american dancer....let me tell you-It changes your dance life.

You'll still be you, but better. More controlled, yet freer. Why is dance always so full of contradictions? I believe nothing beautiful is without contradiction, and each time I find one in dance, in the expression or the physical act, it gladdens my little dancer heart. The understanding you will have of your bodies history will expand as your spine lengthens

In class tonight, Gabriel Forestieri said, "We are all collections of every move we have ever made." 
How beautiful is that? In knowing more pointedly your past and using specific curiosity in the present you can kinda sorta maybe rewrite your body history...look I just like duck tales so stay with me here. :) 
(Also, Gabriel is teaching this month-Sundays at 6:15pm at Eden's Expressway. You should come!)

I'm pretty sure that racecars, lasers, and aeroplanes are all choreographic choices and mostly unrelated to your tail bone. But you never know...laser tails could be the next wave of human evolution.

At least I hope. ;)

Night noodles. Good luck with those tails. WhA

You should probably go.

We were sweaty in the warm and heavy city air, but we had a wonderful time with Irene's lovely presence and easy smile. I have never learned any Trisha Brown movement before today and it was challenging and very fun. I felt like I was learning a bit of my history this morning.

There is a tornado watch in NYC and New Jersey, I am at my computer diligently typing out my final edits to some applications. 
Hope the hail falls gently on your heads.

Til tomorrow,

~Mary Ellen
BUT I will try try and try again! I admit that the main reason for my lack of blogging has been a naughty router, but all is operational again and Chez Carafice is all systems GO!

Here's the best thing that happened-I FINISHED MY MOVIE!!! Well, the first draft anyway. I'll be showing it soon and it's online presence will drop this summer. Because, really, it's not finished. It won't be finished for some time-but it's at a good place, like first base. I have the rest of the diamond to run, but I'm not out!

I also performed with Mariangela Lopez and the Accidentals at Judson Church. We developed a ritual, and you can see the video here: (I'm in bright bright yellow)

This isn't actually the entire piece, I think that the youtube time limit kicked in and unfortunately the giant amazing resolve of this piece isn't included. I'll try to get the full video up soon. 

OH WHAT ELSE? I have been attending contact jams and something called the barefoot boogie! Info on the boogie can be found here: http://www.barefootboogie.org/ It's $10-$15 dollars (sliding scale) and you can knock it down to $5 by working a 1/2 hour door shift.  This website also has a great list of upcoming awesome dance parties. CHECK IT!!

Alright, I'm off to get my butt in gear, so while this was a brief update, I'll be sure to post more soon!
Mariangela Lopez. Movement Mastermind.
At four pm today, I was sitting and chatting with Mariangela Lopez in the hallway outside Eden's Expressway. She was nice, petite, and full of smiles. Little did I know that this woman would soon TERRIFY ME.

Well, not really terrify me, but really challenge my comfort zones in a really productive and wonderful way. Mari focused on movement-the movement that we do as children, full of curiosity and wonder, and completely void of judgement. 

This is harder than it sounds. Leaving judgement behind to revert to former childlike bliss sounds wonderful, and I feel like I caught it in moments, but it was all together just really...scary!

Dance can be like that. Completely terrifying. I think that lots of people are terrified by dance because they don't think they can dance, or they don't think they look good while dancing. I know I can dance, and I think I look just fine doing it, but what was scary was suspending judgement of my own towards what I really wanted to do-rather than just popping out what I was 'supposed' to do. Because while dancers are used to taking risks, we are also used to being very very obedient. 

The workshop is still open, and runs for the next three Sundays in May. Registration can be found here. I cannot be in attendance this Sunday due to work, but I will see Mari and everyone else for the remaining two workshops. Please come join us! Many of the registrants are not dancers, but rather people interested in movement experiences. Come join the fun!
Where the heck did this week go?  I honestly am amazed it is already Saturday...ah well.
So, this was the second week of classes at Eden's with Luis, however my jaunts to Sleepy Hollow and then some sight seeing I did with my dear friend Karen and her parents sent my left foot to a place called swollen town. :( 

So I had to force myself to sit out, and I did not attend friday morning class. On a "sad but trying not to be sad" note, Karen has returned to Ireland. I miss her very much, but we are connecting on skype and she has wonderful dance news up and coming in her own neck of the woods. To keep up with Karen, check out her site here

However, this week Melissa West resumed rehearsals for Pretty Little Things, set to debut on June 18th in Staten Island (also-That is my fathers birthday! Just like old times, isn't it Dad? I was always dancing in my childhood school recitals  on his birthday!) 
Melissa's rehearsals are like trips into your inner childhood happy impulses. The five of us (Melissa West, Laura Brandel, Kat Gorsuch, and Melissa Knestaut) hula hoop, sing, gogo dance, and dance like bugs to our hearts content. I believe we will have an amazing show, and I'll be sure to keep the information available here. Check out Melissa's site here

In addition to Pretty Little Things, Melissa will be restaging People in the Sun, an excerpt from Pictures her senior choreographic project at Hunter College which I had the pleasure of dancing in it's original creation and casting. Kat Gorsuch will be joining in this duet. 

Melissa has invited me onto the bill as a guest artist, and I will be debuting a solo, When Was the Last Time you Danced? based on my current film work of the same title. I'll incorporate quotes, video, and audience participation to give an interesting glimpse of my present research.

Speaking of my film-I am scheduling my final interviews, most notably with one Ruth E. Grauert, also known as Reg. Reg is the director of Bearnstow in Mt. Vernon, Maine. It was there that I have been influenced and transformed by the invaluable lessons of the environment of people, dance, and work. I cannot wait to interview Reg this Thursday-look out for a preview!
This is my new personal blog. I want to keep this simple, personal, and daily. It's my online record of daily events-usually related to dance, but not necessarily. If you are reading this, you probably know me. 
For example, today I went with my friend Karen to a Yankees game. They were meant to play the Orioles, and we had really killer seats (such an amazing view!) and we woofed down hot dogs and garlic cheese fries. It was gross, but they are the things that I would never eat anywhere else other than at a baseball game, so it really gets you in the mood for 'experiencing', and that includes the food. After we marveled at the field, dried our seats, and licked our fingers clean-the game was cancelled. Ah well. Hopefully we can make the rain date, but Karen leaves on the 20th to go back to Ireland. I am not looking forward to that day.

See? None of that was about dance :)