In an interesting and scholarly analysis of the dance form we have come to associate most closely with Russia, Lifar examines the whole history of ballet, its adoption by Russia from the west and the influences that made it Russia's own child after 1900. In doing this Lifar traces, side by side, the native forms with the imported. Extending his investigations to 18th and 19th century dance in opera and other theatrical performances, he traces, too, the work of such foreign masters as Petipa until its final absorption by the Russian masters- Diaghileff the finest of them all. The next twenty years after 1909 saw the flowering of the Ballets Russes. An absorbing study of a notable corps for all balletomanes, this takes on added value with its commentary on the chameleon Soviet ballet today.