Photo by Christian Knörr

A couple means more than two

20 Years Richard Wherlock in Basel

Richard Wherlock has been the director of Ballett theater Basel for 20 years. It is quite special for a director to stay at one company for so long—off the top of my head, the only other directors I can think of are John Neumeier of Hamburg Ballet and Kevin McKenzie of American Ballet Theater, although I am sure there are others.

I had the pleasure of working with Richard from 2012–2019 in Basel. We worked together on 9 creations for the Basel stage. Richard was easy to work for and cared a lot about the dancer’s experience. The repertory was constantly changing. I never felt overworked or underprepared (shout-out to Ballet Master, Cristiana Sciabordi for holding it down). You could talk to Richard about anything, nothing seemed to surprise him. That’s not exactly shocking considering I would run into Richard at many arts events inside and outside of Basel. He is very open, non-judgmental and is always searching for understanding. In that way, he gives the wise elder vibe…with a twist. Richard likes to laugh and joke and surely you will know that within the first meeting…

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