Alexei Ratmansky's Giselle in Bolshoi Ballet Posted yesterday at 06:31 PM I enjoyed Smirnova's performance. I thought her reading of the character of Giselle was intelligent, full of detail and touching, and she displayed spontaneity in her interaction with other characters on stage. Her technique is precise and her petit allegro in general was excellent. Also, she certainly gave the impression of an insubstantial wili in the second act. I loved Belyakov - a true danseur and such a worthy principal finally! He has an excellent presence and that jump... the height of his entrechats is amazing! His acting is heartfelt and sincere and he looks the aristocrat. I thought Khokhlova in the peasant pas was delightful - so fleet and light in her footwork - and her partner Alexei Putintsev had great ballon. I have been very critical of other Ratmansky productions, but I really enjoyed this one. I thought the whole of the second act was beautiful indeed, and the choreography for the wilis very effective in giving the impression of an army of man-killers - especially in the scenes where they capture and dispatch Hans (Hilarion). Ratmansky increased the petit allegro element of the choreography and also the amount of mime, which I found to be totally in keeping with this 19th century ballet, and there were many new and beautiful poses - the kneeling pose that replaced the high lift in the act 2 pd2 for example. I thought Nelli Kobakhidzhe gave an extremely sympathetic performance as Bathilde and also Lyudmila Semenyaka as Berthe was entirely convincing and how wonderful to see her back on stage! We can all argue about various elements we didn't like (and I did find some of the changes of tempo a little sudden) but overall I thought this production is a success. Loved it!