Danish dancer and choreographer (Copenhagen, August 21, 1805 - November 30, 1879).

August studied at the Danish Royal Ballet under his father's direction. At the age of fifteen he joined the Royal Danish Ballet. Subsequently, he won a scholarship and was therefore able to perfect his training in Paris with Pierre Gardel and Auguste Vestris from 1824 to 1830.

Bournonville led the Royal Danish Ballet for almost 50 years and founded the Danish style, the oldest legacy of ballet still alive.

The Bournonville style has remained almost intact to this day and is considered the true descendant of the 19th century French style. The original style, whose outstanding characteristics are the lightness and ease of the “ballon” (jumps), the elegant composition of the "port de bras", the rational use of batteries, quick footwork, all stripped of all virtuosity and combined with a strong mimicry and expressiveness.

In Denmark the stages were quite small; For this reason, the choreographer developed rapid footwork and maximum elevation. Bournonville's works are characterized by frequent, rapid and sudden changes of direction and vertical jumps. Another important difference compared to the romantic style in vogue is the importance of work at the mid-point, which sometimes exceeds that of work at the end. Her ballets have been in the Royal Danish Ballet repertoire for over a century and her name is linked to one of the most fascinating chapters in the history of 19th century ballet.

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Auguste Bournonville (1805-1879)