"A lucid and interesting history" of ballet--from sixteenth-century French Royalty to contemporary masters--"that reads like a novel" (Kirkus Reviews).In this engaging history of dance, readers are introduced to the major performers, choreographers, and composers who influenced the development of ballet. Beginning with the birth of the art in the sixteenth-century French court of Catherine d' Medici, this informative text traces ballet as it evolved in Europe and Russia, and subsequently in England and then the United States. Included are details about the creation of such classics as Giselle, Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, and Serenade, as well as the contributions of such prominent figures as Pavlova, Nijinsky, Balanchine, and Ashton. Fascinating facts include inside looks at contemporary ballet companies, how toe shoes are made, and what a professional dancer's day is like. All in all, a delightful, enjoyable, and informative historical overview that will delight anyone who enjoys the art of dance.