(b Lyon, 19 May 1760; d Fredesborg, Denmark, 11 Jan. 1843)
French dancer, choreographer, and ballet director. Father of August Bournonville. He studied with Noverre in Vienna and in Paris, where he danced at the Paris Opera. An invitation from King Gustav III of Sweden brought him to the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm, where he danced for ten years. In 1792 he travelled to Copenhagen but it was not until 1795 that Bournonville, having been distrusted as a known supporter of the French Revolution, was invited to join the Royal Danish Ballet. During his subsequent 24 years with the company he created leading roles in many ballets by Vicenzo Galeotti and eventually succeeded the latter as director of the Royal Danish Ballet (1816–23). One of Bournonville's best-known ballets was Les Meuniers provençaux (1785). In 1971 Mary Skeaping and Ivo Cramér reconstructed his 1789 ballet, Fiskarena (The Fishermen).