By Dave Carey, Chickenshed Senior Creative Producer

Sometimes in a workshop rare moments occur that you know will be imprinted on your brain forever. It’s why we love what we do. It’s the moment when something spontaneous occurs, completely beyond your control that fills your heart to overflowing. It will seem a minor, simple thing to others but just such moment occurred for Michael and I were in Shijiazhuang during our recent trip to work with orphaned and disadvantaged girls from rural areas.

As always, at the end of the workshop period we oversaw a presentation of the work undertaken. On the Thursday morning the whole school gathered to watch the endeavours of 40 of their fellow pupils.

It all started routinely and then chaos set in. During Michael's ‘copy me’ crazy dance and movement warm up he turned to the audience and encouraged them to follow his hand movements. And then something happened that is difficult to fully relate (you had to be there). But as one the whole school rose up and advanced towards the performance space. Their classmates advanced towards them. A brief thought flickered through my mind that we were about to lose control and I hoped the teachers watching wouldn’t be too unhappy. In my mind the chances of the project getting further funding receded sharply. And then suddenly the whole room exploded with energy, joy and unbridled fun. Within seconds cast and audience were together, mixed up in a sea of dancing kids. It was no longer possible to know who was performing and who was watching because everyone, even the Principle and teachers, were leaping around, clapping hands in the air and generally getting down to the two Michaels. (Jackson and Bossisse). It was like an exploding bottle of fizzy drink, an energy and freedom contained for so long and suddenly let loose. We clocked each other across the crowded school hall (actually it was the Kung-Fu hall, complete with punch bags for practising those all important kicks), shrugged our shoulders and let the party continue.

Sometimes you have to lose control and let chaos reign supreme.