Swedish choreographer Mats Ek has created his first major full-length work since Sleeping Beauty for Hamburg Ballet in 1996. Like Sleeping Beauty, Juliet & Romeo takes a familiar work and twists it around to create something new, something that, in the words of dance critic Judith Mackrell in The Guardian "explores the dark and dangerous issues coiled at the heart of ballet's most hallowed works". Indeed, in the production notes the set design for Juliet & Romeo is described as "a city in crises, an urban rough place in grey and black" while the costumes are "inspired by Renaissance with a modern twist. Some materials in metallic look to enhance war and conflicts." No wonder that Mackrell wrote of Ek that his works are "often deviantly emotional representations of the human heart." Ek is the son of famous choreographer Birgit Cullberg and has a long and illustrious career behind him. This work in two acts was created for the Royal Swedish Ballet and features music by Tchaikovsky - not the ballet written by Prokofiev - with a completely new score arranged from the Russian composer's symphonies and sonatas. The show features a 20-strong corps de ballet and 11 distinct characters.