Teacher, writer and commentator, Irving Deakin needs no introduction as a lively and devoted scholar of the ballet, an art which he defines efficiently and appreciatively in this book. His discourse is one that views its subject from all angles-historical, contemporary, technical, artistic, economic and personal. First, he asks us to abandon the ecstasy that characterized the days when dance audiences were sparse and to take on a more balanced critical attitude which ballet, as a fully recognized art, now merits. Speaking next of the various aspects of ballet, Mr. Deakin adopts theories which may mark his field with some bones of contention but they are tenable points that cause one to see the wisdom of his ways. General topics include music as the basis for ballet, a brief history of the dance, training (the material here on the economic and emotional aspects of a dancer's life is interesting), technique, the choreographer as a person who must combine many mediums (with more side comments on the economic and spiritual effect of movies and television), decoration, stages of enjoyment in ballet goers, the story angle, and so on. His method of discussing whether or not ballets should have plots is lucid and indicative of the whole book; for where he could have theorized and become abstract, he takes specific cases, for example Stravinsky's thoughts when composing Petraonkka and The Firebird, where the element of plot is rudimentary.