During the 1930s the Republic of Czechoslovakia was one of the richest and most politically and artistically free countries in Europe. The country maintained close ties with artistic circles in other European countries, which helped to open the doors to the rest of the world. As young artists we considered ourselves to be among the avant-garde and, under the influence of President T. G. Masaryk, artists from all walks of artistic life were encouraged to explore and accept innovative works and, ideas from all parts of the world. It was natural that the unconventional music of Prokofiev would find acceptance in Czechoslovakia where it was quickly welcomed into our hearts. It was clear from the first score that Prokofiev had conceived a piece of ballet theatre which distilled the essential elements of the love story between Romeo and Juliet into a concentrated dance drama, rather than a traditional ballet.