Rainer Behr was born in Neustadt an der Waldnaab in Germany in 1964 and studied dance at the Folkwang University of the Arts after completing an apprenticeship as a gymnastics teacher. From 1990 to 1995 he danced at Folkwang Tanzstudio in Essen, working with Susanne Linke, Raffaella Giordano, Urs Dietrich and Mark Sieczkarek. He also created choreographies for the Folkwang Tanzstudio and was a guest dancer with the Tanztheater Wuppertal. In 1995, Pina Bausch invited him to become a permanent member of the ensemble.
Rainer Behr has been choreographing since 1989. For "Die Wendung der Dinge (The Change of Things)" he was awarded the first prize at the choreographic competition in Cagliari in Italy and in 1990, he received the Claasen Dance Award. His pieces for the Folkwang Tanzstudio in Essen include "Rote Rose (Red Rose)", "Solo", "Einsames Königreich (Lonely Kingdom)" and "ButterflyRiverMountainSun-Moon". In 2004, he created and performed in "Der eiserne Pudel (The Iron Poodle)" for the International Dance Festival NRW – Three weeks with Pina Bausch. He has also created several works for the Tanztheater Wuppertal’s Underground series and has worked as a guest choreographer for the Theater Bielefeld. He was part of the team of choreographers for Encounters in 2020 and will create his first full-length piece for the Tanztheater Wuppertal at the Wuppertal Opera House in 2021.