August Bournonville (August 21, 1805 - November 30, 1879) was a ballet master and choreographer. He was a son of a French ballet master, Antoine Bournonville, who had settled in Denmark.
After studies in Paris, August at an early age became solo dancer at the Royal Ballet in Copenhagen. His lasting influence cannot be overestimated: He created a style which, although influenced from the Paris ballet, is entirely his own. As a choreographer, he made a large number of original ballets with very varied settings: from Denmark, Italy, Scotland, Russia, South America, etc. A limited number of these works have survived, having never been away from the stage longer than the memory of the performers were alive.
Strangely, Bournonville's work became known outside Denmark only after WWII. Since 1950, The Royal Ballet has several times made prolonged tours abroad, not the least to the United States, where they have performed his ballets - often at theatres not ideally equipped for the purpose. A considerable international interest for Bournonville has thereby made itself felt.