The last time I looked at the Bolshoi discussion forum from Russia there were four reviews of Natalia Osipova's debut in Giselle. One is by a lady named Nadya and another is by the forum moderator, Michail Alexandrova.
http://forum.balletfriends.ru/viewtopic ... df282ff104
It was Nadya's review that I referred to several posts ago when beginning this discussion. Michail is the one who brought us the internet question and answer session with Maria Alexandrova several years ago. His current review of Natalia Osipova is very complete and by far the longest posted. A friend of mine, who speaks russian, verbally translated much of the two reviews. I would like to refer to them because they will give some excellent insight into the Giselle performance.
Both Nadya and Michail shared initial apprehensions that they were going to see a very 'flamboyant', Kitri-ish (Don Quixote) interpretation. Natalia Osipova is already world famous for this performance. Both were very pleasantly surprised that this wasn't the case.
Both reviewers were 'overwhelmingly' impressed with the performance. Michail states that most of the balletomanes there (that he can identify, I guess) and most of the audience were very pleased. He heard comments such as "Brilliant!" from audience members. Nadya states that there were six or seven curtain calls !
Nadya saw Natalia Osipova's portrayal in Act I of Giselle as an enthusiastic, innocent country girl, made very believable. She felt that Act I worked perfectly. She also viewed Andrei Mercuriev's portrayal of Albrecht as being one of a sympathetic and sincere person entrapped in his previous commitments, but sincerely in love with Giselle.
Michail remarks that he was concerned that he might be seeing a lot of 'athleticism'. He comments that the jumps, etc. were indeed huge--but done with amazing Gracefulness. He says that he has never seen anything like this before and that this is now the new standard as far as he is concerned. He thought it was Amazing ! He also philosophizes about how something like this is in Another Realm.
Both reviewers were extremely impressed with the Emotion that Natalia Osipova conveyed. They both refer to the mad scene. It was done with such reality and such believability. Nadya said it brought tears to her eyes. Michail compares Natalia Osipova to Diana Vishneva in this respect. He admires both for their ability to convey great emotion.
Michail discusses Act II very completely and makes some very interesting observations.
He says that when Natalia Osipova first encounters the Willis, she is unexpectedly excited, perhaps almost joyous, at the freedom of an afterlife.
In her first encounter with Albrecht and in the pas de deux afterwards, she portrays a gentle, overwhelming love for Albrecht, continuing their original love and almost 'apologizing' for interrupting their love with the her madness.
This is very interesting stuff !
The end of Act II is performed again with great enthusiasm as Giselle does all she can and finally saves Albrecht. Michail states that this was exactly as Gautier, the author, intended and quotes Gautier to support this.
As always it is up to us as individuals to make our own interpretation and judgement if we are fortunate enough to be able to see this performance. Both these viewers were extremely excited with what they saw and offer some very interesting insights for us to consider.