Went to see this last night - my first classical ballet in months due to real-life constrictions. I wasn't hugely impressed with the first act. Although I always feel that this act is marking time until Act II, the Royal Ballet's production, for example, manages to be interesting in its own right. This one however, just limped along with very little enthusiasm from anyone on stage.
Letitica Muller was the reason I'd booked to see this, and I was rather disappointed. She normally impresses me in everything I see but her Giselle seemed dim-witted rather than naive and lacked poignancy. The rest of the performances, including Andrew Murphy as Albrecht, lacked personality. There was a nice pas de deux with Nao Sakuma and Chi Cao, but damnit, Bintley's cut Giselle's mother's mime scene, which I've always liked.
Act II however, was far more impressive, mainly because of Muller and Molly Smollen as Myrtha. Smollen simply gave the best performance I've ever seen in this role - serious, authoritative and so light she appeared supernatural. I was told it's only the second time she's danced this role with BRB. Based on this performance, one to watch in the future.
The problem with Giselle is that I always root for the Wilis. If they're the ghosts of girls who killed themselves after betrayal, then the men in that area are a right bunch of ratbags and theirs is a bloodsport one can heartily approve of. Muller was an affecting Giselle and her opening steps drew a gasp from the non-ballet attender beside me. Murphy danced well, but again there was a serious lack of rapport between him and Muller. I still haven't worked out if he was supposed to be hiding behind her or not at one point, but if he was, my tip would be to find someone larger next time.
All in all though, Act II - especially Smollen - redeemed the production for me so I went home very happy.
One final note: for some bizarre reason, a grey horse was brought on stage for the hunting scene. Note to designers: if you're going to do that, you could at least budget for a side saddle so that it doesn't look so anachronistic.