Richard Wherlock was born in Bristol. After studying at Rambert School (then Ballet Rambert School), he joined Rambert company as a dancer. Wherlock was Ballet Director at Hagen Theatre in Germany from 1991 to 1996, then spending three seasons as director of the Lucerne Ballet before moving to Komische Oper Berlin as artistic director and choreographer of BerlinBallett. He has been director and head choreographer of Ballett Basel since the 2001/2002 season, and artistic director of the renowned festival «basel tanzt» from 2004 to 2009. Richard Wherlock has created many choreographies for Ballett Basel, enjoying particular success with his adaptations of great classics such as Swan Lake, James or La Sylphide, Traviata – a Ballet», «Carmen», «Giselle», or «Eugene Onegin» and other full length narrative ballets which he has reinterpreted using contemporary dance techniques.
He worked as choreographer with, among others, the following companies: New English Contemporary Ballet, Tanzforum Köln, Scapino Ballet Rotterdam, Finnish Dance Theatre Helsinki, Ballett Staatstheater Braunschweig, Romanian National Ballet, The Icelandic Ballet, Ballet National de Nancy et de Lorraine, Ballet National de Marseille, Ballet de l’Opéra de Nice, aalto ballett theater essen, Europa Danse (UNESCO), Ballett der Deutschen Oper am Rhein Düsseldorf, Singapore Dance Theatre, Ballett der Vereinigten Bühnen Graz, Introdans in Arnheim/Holland, Ballett des Badischen Staatstheaters Karlsruhe, Phoenix Dance Theatre Leeds and Ballet Contemporaneo del Teatro San Martín / Argentina.
Wherlock also created a full-length ballet for Les Étoiles de l’Opéra National de Paris, for the Ballet of the Opéra National de Bordeaux and for the Seoul Ballet Theatre. His film and TV work includes the choreography for Claude Lelouch’s cinema production Hasards ou Coïncidences, presented in 1998 at the Venice Biennale and at the Montréal and Chicago festivals. In 2000, Wherlock received the Prix Italia for the award-winning dance film Passengers, produced by the Swiss broadcasting company DRS, RM Associates and 3SAT. His most recent film success One bullet left – also produced by Swiss broadcasting company DRS – was awarded the Golden Rose of Montreux in 2003. In 1999 he was nominated for the international dance award Benois de la Danse.
Richard Wherlock’s particular interest lies in supporting talented up and-coming dancers. He serves on the juries of numerous international dance competitions and is president of the Migros scholarship jury.