Born in 1964 in Neustadt a. d. Waldnaab, Rainer Behr qualified as a gymnastics teacher in Berlin before he entered the dance department of the Folkwang Academy in Essen in 1986 to study classical, modern and folkloristic dance. In 1989, still a Folkwang student, Behr won the 1st prize at the Cagliari Choreographic Competition with his duo "Die Wendung der Dinge" and the "Claassen-Tanzpreis" award in 1990. In the same year he joined the Folkwang Tanzstudio Company where he stayed until 1995 and danced in productions by Urs Dietrich, Susanne Linke, Mark Sieczkarek, Carolyn Carlson and Raffaella Giordano. During this time he also choreographed works for the company including "Rote Rosen", "Einsames Königreich", "ButterflyRiverMountin SunMoon" as well as solo programmes. Since 1995, Rainer Behr has been a permanent member of Pina Bausch's Wuppertaler Tanztheater. Dagmar Schenk-Güllich writing about Behr in ballett international / tanz aktuell 3/95: "Rainer Behr is undeniably a Folkwang disciple, and he has also developed his own clear handwriting. He's emerging as a master of reductionism, of the most sparing gestural language to elucidate the big and the small things in life with a sure touch... His fine feeling for interpersonal movement has made a sensitive choreographer of him, showing him to be an artist who's deliberately carving his own path."