by George Balanchine and Fredric Mason
Published: Doubleday; Rev Enl edition (November 1977)
I love this book! It' about three inches thick and loaded with ballet stories, photographs, and really interesting details about the ballets.
Each ballet is in alphabetical order, and has a paragraph explaining how many acts/scenes, who wrote the music and did the original choreography, where it was performed, who danced it etc. and other interesting facts for all you history buffs out there. Then each act and scene is explained. If the ballet has different versions (like Swan Lake or The Nutcracker) each different version of the story is explained too! This is great for Artistic Directors who are trying to pick which version to go with, or dancers who want to know all the different variations of the same story.
This is a great book. I have the Revised and Enlarged edition. I found it years ago at my local library and I checked it out constantly. Only recently did I decide to buy it for myself.