Auguste Bournonville

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Bournonville, Auguste


Born Aug. 21, 1805, in Copenhagen; died there Nov. 30, 1879. Danish ballet dancer, choreographer, and teacher.

In 1820, Bournonville perfected his dancing in Paris under the choreographer A. Vestris. He performed with the ballerina M. Taglioni. From 1830 to 1848 he was soloist, choreographer, and teacher with the Danish Royal Ballet; from 1861 to 1864 he was principal choreographer and teacher at the Royal Opera Theater in Stockholm. Bournonville was a talented lyrical dancer; he staged more than 50 ballets. About 15 of them are still in the repertoire of the Danish Ballet. Among them are La Sylphide by Løvenskiold (1836), Napoli by Paulli, Helsted, Gade, and Lumbye (1842), and Far From Denmark by Gläser (1860). Bournonville gave Danish ballet a national flavor, made use of national dance folklore in his productions, and introduced the national dances of other countries. An outstanding teacher, he created a system of choreographic instruction.


Mit teaterliv, vols. 1-3. Copenhagen, 1848-78.
Det kongelige danske theater. Copenhagen, 1849.


Klassiki khoreografii. Leningrad-Moscow, 1937.
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While training in Paris in the 1820s, August Bournonville witnessed the transition between post- revolutionary ballet d'action, with its classical and mythological themes, and the Romantic ballet that would sweep French audiences along on a wave of moonlit passion.
This season also will include performances of ballets by choreographers who influenced Balanchine, notably August Bournonville, Michel Fokine and Marius Petipa.
The spring program is entitled "New Beginnings" (Concerto Barocco, Duo Concertant, Napoli, Act III) based on the works of George Balanchine and August Bournonville, and in the summer the Company introduces its program with "An Evening with Balanchine" (Serenade, Apollo, Rubies).
The choreography of August Bournonville (1805-79), developed in the French tradition, is sparkling, elegant, and full of joy.
A full evening creation of Ibsen's Peer Gynt, to music that Edvard Grieg wrote for the play, was popular on tour with both audiences and critics, some comparing his choreographic sensibility with that of the Dane August Bournonville.
With an enthusiasm that's contagious, he embodies what August Bournonville intended ballet to become: so full of passion it could make an audience want to rise up and dance.
HISTORY August Bournonville was ballet master of the Royal Danish Ballet from 1830 to his death in 1879.
He was also, in his later years, a great teacher whose pupils included Charles Didelot, August Bournonville, Jules Perrot, and Marie Taglioni.
What could be a better bicentennial tribute to the great Danish choreographer August Bournonville (1805-1879), than documenting his teaching legacy?
My Dearly Beloved Wife: Letters from France and Italy, 1841 By August Bournonville.
Would August Bournonville, that extraordinary Danish choreographer and exemplar of the essence of 19th-century Romantic ballet, have expected the international dance world to have celebrated the 200th anniversary of his birth with quite the vigor, devotion, and pleasure that characterized the Third Bournonville Festival at the Royal Theater, Copenhagen, with eight performances between June 3 and June 11, each and every night in the presence of Queen Margrethe II?
Like his compatriot Hans Christian Andersen, August Bournonville was a master storyteller, using the language of mime and classical dance to tell tales of good triumphing over evil, and love, if not art, conquering all.