Richard Wherlock (born August 21, 1958 in Bristol) is a British dancer and choreographer. He has directed Ballett Basel since 2001.
Wherlock studied dance at the Ballet Rambert School and eventually became committed to the Ballet Rambert as a dancer. In 1981, he was engaged by de:Jochen Ulrich as the Solo Dancer at the Cologne Dance Forum. While there, he first worked out his own choreography, which was soon an inherent part of the troupe’s repertoire. From 1991 to 1996, he was the Ballet Director at the Hagen Theatre, where, according to the opinions of critics, he succeeded in advancing “into the first element of his craft” and finally removed the label of provinciality from the Hagen dance troupe. With his anticlassical choreography of La Fille mal gardée, he garnered wide recognition, and he was awarded a sponsorship prize from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia in 1993. After that, he was the ballet director at Lucerne Theatre for three seasons and worked from 1999 until 2001 at the Komische Oper Berlin. The dance troupe there was renamed the BerlinBallett in 1999, and after Wherlock’s departure in 2004, it became the Berlin State Ballet, joining with the ensembles of the German State Opera and the State Opera Under the Linden. In Berlin, he worked with the Italian dancers and choreographers Giorgio Madia and de:Massimo Gerardi, among others.
Parallel to his work as a dancer in Cologne and in the director’s jobs in Hagen, Lucerne, Berlin, and Basel, he worked as a choreographer with a string of European ensembles: New English Contemporary Ballet, Europa Danse (UNESCO), Scapino Ballet Rotterdam, Introdans in Arnhem, ensembles from Braunschweig, Düsseldorf, Essen, and Karlsruhe, the Ballet National de Nancy et de Lorraine, ensembles from Marseilles and Nice, the Finnish National Ballet, the Romanian National Ballet, the Iceland Ballet, and in Graz, Singapore, and San Martín in Argentina. His work was also shown at festivals, such as Zweiten Uni Modern Dance Festival of the de:AZet Dance Company in Kaiserslautern. For Les Étoiles de l’Opéra National de Paris, he created a full-length ballet.