In my previous Chouinard article, I wrote:
"Marie Chouinard prides herself up on the fact that her dance is (allegedly) non-balletic. Nevertheless, several of her dancers are ballet-trained or have danced in ballet companies. How non-balletic is this dance that it requires balletic bodies to dance it? Even Chouinard herself feels obliged to list her ballet training in her biography/mini-curriculum vitae."
Having seen the show itself, I feel that my suspicions were completely justified. I think that it is very important to critically investigate those who claim that their work is "non-balletic".
Despite Chouinard's claims, Chorale as well as Etude #1 both contain movements which can only be properly described as balletic. For example: (repeated) grand battement, (repeated) leg-thrown-into-the-neck high kicks which only a ballet-dancer can make, repeated developes, (unisex) arabesques, the girls doing deep penches and backwards cambres with their backs. These are just a few of the movements that I recognized; those of you who are professionals would probably recognize a lot more.
The four male dancers all kicked 135 degree high legs, the six girls - except for one - were all visibly turned out and ballet-drilled. For example, when a girl did a passe, it wasn't just above the knee or halfway up the tight; the foot of the folded leg went all the way up and neared her crotch. Tell me that the girl who can aim her foot so high just isn't balletic, oh no sir, no ballet here! Etude #1 specifically, contains en pointe balancing, plus a minute-long Swanlake pastiche en demi pointe.
In short, I see ballet looming from every corner and nook. Yes, CMC is certainly more "extreme" in its use of non-balletic movements than, say, Nederlands Dans Theater, or maybe more tolerant towards such movements, or more versatile. CMC is certainly more unisex than any of the Cunnihamesque clones that everyone insist on reproducing. But non-balletic? No way. Considering the appropriation of non-Western dance and vocal music, this ballet is right there next to Jiri Kylian's ballets appropriating aboriginal dance, such as Stomping Ground.