My understanding is that Tatiana Kuznetzova, the Kommersant ballet critic, reviewed the first 2 casts and suggested that Smirnova and Belyakov’s reading of their roles was true to Ratmansky’s vision for this production. It has to be said that particularly in the use of mime and emphasis on acting, the production is different from the Grigorovich version - and indeed from the approach often seen in Bolshoi productions of the classics generally. Kuznetzova also suggested that Krysanova and Ovcharenko began in the Ratmansky vein but as the ballet progressed they moved back towards the more traditional approach seen in the Grigorovich production. Of course, second and third casts can be preferred to the first cast in any ballet - it is a subjective perspective after all. But when Smirnova and Belyakov are described as “lovely and trying their best”, I am rather of the view that they are in fact showing us what Ratmansky intended. Whether people like that is a matter of personal taste.
For my part, I think this is a very significant new production and represents a progressive step by the Company. I was deeply moved by the quality of the dancing and rapport between Smirnova and Belyakov, whose more naturalistic interpretations seemed perfect in this production.