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