Luigi Bonino was born in Italy and began studying dance in Turin. He joined the Cullberg Ballet in 1973 and became a principal dancer after appearing in leading roles in Adam and Eve and Romeo and Juliet.
In 1975, Bonino was invited by Roland Petit to join the Marseille National Ballet and to perform Coppelius in the ballet Coppelia, as well as roles in The Young Man and Death, Notre Dame de Paris and The Phantom of the Opera, and the role of Ulrich in Die Fledermaus. Bonino made numerous TV appearances with the Marseille troupe and danced with Margot Fonteyn in Petit’s The Magic of Dance.
He was invited by Zizi Jeanmaire to take part in Parisiana 25, which was presented in Marseille and filmed for TV. He appeared in New York City in the musical Can Can in 1982 and was invited by Jeanmaire to participate in a joint production of the Marseille National Ballet and French television I Love Paris. He was the partner of Jeanmaire in the show Hollywood Paradise in 1984 in Marseille and, in 1985, at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees in Paris. In 1990, he played the role of Carabosse in a production of The Sleeping Beauty created for the Marseille troupe and Jeanmaire.
Bonino was the partner of Natalya Makarova, Alessandra Ferri and Luciana Savignano in The Young Man and Death, as well as of Makarova and Rudolf Nureyev in Notre Dame de Paris at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. He danced with Elizabetta Terabust in Paris in 1991 and with Maria Jimenez at a festival in Mexico.
Roland Petit invited Bonino to be his assistant and to dance in the creation of Heaven and Hell for the ballet company of Milan’sTeatro alla Scala in 1984 and gave him the role of Puss in Puss in Boots at the Paris Palais de Congres in 1985. Bonino also danced in Petit’s ballets My Pavlova and Valentine’s Love Songs. He staged My Pavlova at the Rome Opera in 1986 and The Blue Angel at Teatro alla Scala in 1988.
Bonino revived and danced with Carla Fraci in the number Cheek to Cheek at Teatro alla Scala and created the role of Charlie Chaplin in Petit’s Charlot Danse avec Nous (1991). Petit entrusted Bonino with the difficult task of staging his ballets for various companies. Bonino staged Die Fledermaus for Teatro San Carlo in Naples in 1993 and The Room for Aterballetto and Carmen for Teatro alla Scala in 1994.
Bonino acted as Petit’s assistant in staging Notre Dame de Paris, The Young Man and Death and L’Arlesienne for the Asami Maki Ballet at the New National Theatre in Tokyo, as well as in all of his stagings for the Bolshoi Theatre, in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya, and for Teatro alla Scala, the Paris Opera, the Beijing National Ballet, the Vienna State Opera Ballet, the Pennsylvania Ballet, the Mariinsky Theatre and the Rome Opera.