A popular work the world over, the young lovers in Flower Festival in Genzano playfully dance Bournonville's signature fleet-footed choreography, slowing down only for romantic pas de deux.
August Bournonville, the 19th-century choreographer who left a lasting imprint on the Royal Danish Ballet, created the full-length Flower Festival in Genzano in 1858, with a theme based on an Alexandre Dumas tale. The complete work was last danced in 1929 in Copenhagen, but this pas de deux has survived. It demonstrates the grace and charm that characterize Bournonville dancing, which is the foundation of the Danish style. Balanchine served as ballet master of the Royal Danish Ballet in the early 1930s, and he greatly admired and was influenced by Bournonville’s work.