1805: Born in Copenhagen on August 21st as the illegitimate son of the French dancer Antoine Bournonville and his Swedish-born housekeeper, Lovisa Sundberg.

1811: First contract with Copenhagen?s Royal Theatre as a dance student.

1813: First role at the Royal Theatre as one of the sons of Ragnar Lodbrog in Vincenzo Galeotti?s Nordic ballet Lagertha.

1816: The artistic director of the Royal Danish Ballet, the Italian Vincenzo Galeotti dies and Bournonville?s father succeeds him as director.

Bournonville?s parents enter marriage.

1819: Bournonville makes his debut as an actor in Oehenschläger?s The Little Shepherd Boy.

1820: First study tour to Paris (May-December) accompanied by his father.

1821: Bournonville makes his debut at Copenhagen?s Royal Theater as an apprentice in a divertissement choreographed by his father.

1824 -1830: Bournonville continues his studies in Paris.

1826: As a private student of Auguste Vestris Bournonville passes the examination at l?Académie Royale de la musique.

He makes his first debut at the Paris Opéra in a pas de trois from Louis Milon?s ballet Nina ou La Folle par Amour.

He signs a contract as double with the Paris Opéra Ballet.

1829: Bournonville makes a series of guest appearances at Copenhagen?s Royal Theatre during which he makes his choreographic debut with Acclaim to the Grazes and Soldier and Peasant.

Bournonville publishes his first book: New Year?s Gift for Dance Lovers (Nytårsgave for Danseyndere).

1830: Bournonville marries the Swedish-born Helena Fredrika Håkansson, with whom he got seven children. Besides them he got in 1829 one illegitimate daughter in Paris.

Contract for 18 years as principal dancer and artistic director of The Royal Danish Ballet. From 1836 also as ballet-master to The Royal Danish Court.

1832: Premiere in Copenhagen of his ballet Faust.

1834: Bournonville visits Paris with his wife and his 14-year old pupil Lucile Grahn. He performs for the last time in his life at the Paris Opéra in Jean Aumer?s ballet La Somnambule and he sees Filippo Taglioni?s La Sylphide (premiered in 1832).

1835: Premiere in Copenhagen of his historic ballet Waldemar.

1836: Premiere in Copenhagen of Bournonville?s version of La Sylphide with Lucile Grahn in the title role and himself as James.

1839: Guest appearances at Stockholm?s Royal Theatre in Sweden.

1840: Guest appearances at Christiania Theatre (Oslo, Norway).

Premiere in Copenhagen of The Toreador.

1841: Following a theatrical dispute, where Bournonville talked to the king from the stage Bournonville was sent into a six-month exile without pay. He went to Paris and Italy, where he performed in Milan and in Naples.

1842: Premiere in Copenhagen of Napoli or The Fisherman and his Bride.

His first staging of an opera: Mozart?s Le Nozze di Figaro.

1847: A series of guest appearances at Stockholm?s Royal Theatre. Visit to Paris. Bournonville publishes the first volume of his memoirs My Theatre Life.

1848: Bournonville appears on the stage for the last time as Waldemar in his own ballet of the same name.

He renews his contract for seven years as artistic director for the ballet and stage director of operas at Copenhagen?s Royal Theatre.

1849: Premiere in Copenhagen of The Conservatoire, or A Proposal of Marriage through the Newspaper.

1851: Premiere in Copenhagen of The Kermesse in Bruges, or The Three Gifts.

1853: Premiere in Copenhagen of The Wedding in Hardanger.

1854: Guest choreographer in Vienna at Kärnthnerthor Theatre.

Premiere in Copenhagen of A Folk Tale.

1855: Premiere in Copenhagen of Abdallah.

Bournonville?s begins a one-year contract in Vienna, where he mounts revised versions of Abdallah and Napoli.

1856: Bournonville renews his contract in Copenhagen for five years.

Premiere in Copenhagen of the enlarged version of the divertissement La Ventana.

1857: Guest choreographer in Stockholm.

1858: Guest choreographer in Stockholm.

Premiere in Copenhagen of The Flower Festival in Genzano.

1860: Premiere in Copenhagen of Far from Denmark, or A Costume Ball on Board.

1861: Bournonville publishes the second and final volume of his treatise Etudes chorégraphiques.

Premiere in Copenhagen of The Valkyrie.

Engagement for three seasons as artistic director of Stockholm?s Royal Theatre, Sweden.

1868: Premiere in Copenhagen of The Lay of Thrym.

Bournonville begins a one-year contract with The Royal Theatre in Copenhagen, renewed annually with minor changes for the next eight years.

1870: Copenhagen premiere of Richard Wagner?s Lohengrin, staged with mise en scène and choreography by Bournonville.

1871: Premiere in Copenhagen of The King?s Corps of Volunteers on Amager.

1872: Copenhagen premiere of Richard Wagner?s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, staged by Bournonville.

1874: Bournonville?s visits Russia (St. Petersburg and Moscow) where he meets with Marius Petipa and his Swedish pupil Christian Johansson. He visits Vienna, Venice, Milan Florence, Rome, Naples and Paris.

1876: Premiere in Copenhagen of Bournonville?s last ballet for The Royal Danish Ballet, From Siberia to Moscow.

1877: Bournonville retires as artistic director for The Royal Danish Ballet

1879: On November 28th Bournonville visits The Royal Theatre for the last time. He attends the debut of Hans Beck, who later becomes artistic director for the ballet.

On November 30th Bournonville collapses and dies in a Copenhagen street on his way home from church.

On Saturday December 6th Bournonville?s funeral is held in Our Lady?s Church, Copenhagen. He is buried in Asminderød cemetery.


Bournonville choreographed about 50 ballets as well as numerous divertissements in opera and drama.