An internationally renowned classical dancer and choreographer, has trained extensively in three distinct dance styles of India – Bharatanatyam, Kathak and Manipuri – under the most important teachers of the twentieth century. His Kathak training was under Pandit Mahadev Kathak for six years and Manipuri under Mrs. Aruna Gandhi for two years.
Khendry’s Bharatanatyam started in 1955 in Chidambaram and later in Kattumanarkoil in South India under Guru Swami Muttukumar Pillia of Tiravallur tradition for two and a half years, which was continued in Hyderabad with Mr. T.K. Narayan for four years from 1957 to 1961. In 1968 he met Mr. and Mrs. U. S. Krishna Rao of Bangalore, in New York City, who have given him the best of the Pandanallur tradition for the next thirty years. Guru Kittapa of Tanjauvar tradition and Mrs. Kalanidhi Narayanan of Madras, further enriched his impeccable training during their visits to Toronto.
oat: left; margin: 10px;" src="/jkdcimages/JKBioPic2.png" width="152" height="192" />During a very distinguished dance career which spans over forty-five years, Khendry has given more than a thousand performances in different parts of the world, and has given five command performances for two past Presidents of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad and Dr. S. Radhakrishnan.
In 1965 he was commissioned by the Educational Channel 13 in New York City to create thirteen works based on “Fables and Legends of India”. In 1978 he was invited by the Allentown Museum, Pennsylvania to be the Guest Curator for a special exhibition “The Sensuous Line” and was commissioned to create two works based of “The Sensuous Line” relating to dance sculpture and painting. In 1994 he was commissioned by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to create a work “The MONK, The COURTESAN and The CHARIOTEER” for a special exhibition “PEACEFUL LIBERATORS”. The work was also presented at the Kimble Art Museum and the New Orleans Museum of Art, where the exhibition traveled. This work has also been performed in fourteen other cities in Canada, the United States and Singapore. He has been invited by major museums and universities in the United States and Canada to perform, lecture and conduct workshops. For seven years he was a member of the South East-Asian Study Seminar Group at the Columbia University in New York City where he presented several papers on Indian art, music and dance.
Khendry’s forte is in choreographing works based on very rare philosophical subjects that have never been attempted as dance works, blending several different Indian classical dance styles and creating a new and powerful dance vocabulary. His -professional choreographic career started in 1961 when he was invited to co-choreograph a dance drama BASANT for Tagore’s centenary celebrations. In New York City he choreographed full length works, SHYAMA in 1965, DANCE of SHIVA based on Kalidas’s KUMARSAMBHAVAM in 1969. SURYA and MOODS of the RHYTHMS, were created in 1995 in Toronto. In 1997 after three years of extensive research he created and presented PANCHAKALYANAKA from the LIFE of MAHAVIRA with twelve dancers of four different dance disciplines. In 1998 he realized his life’s dream and presented GAYATRI. MEGHADUTTAM was also created in 1998. In 1999, SOUNDS of the HILLS and in 2000 WOMEN LIBERATED were created and presented. In 2004, after four and a half years of research, Khendry presented UPANISHAD. When Khendry is not working on his creative works, he is constantly choreographing the traditional Bharatanatyam repertoire for the JANAK KHENDRY DANCE COMPANY. The Company has more than one hundred and twenty-five works in its active repertoire. The strength of Khendry’s creative works lies in extensive scholarly research. He works with several eminent scholars in the field. With the passage of time Khendry’s works are becoming deeper in their philosophical approach, immersed with human concerns and understanding. His recent works have stressed the messages of Non-violence, Self-discipline, Human-equality and Peace. Currently, Khendry is developing four new works, PANCHAGNI to be presented in February of 2006 and DREAM OF A DRUNKEN GOD, AGNI AND INDRA and CHANDRA KAUNS to be presented in the fall of 2006.
Khendry is recipient of several very prestigious grants and awards: Nizam's Grant and Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in India. In Canada he has received Toronto Arts Council; Ontario Arts Council; Laidlaw Foundation; Ministry of Culture, Citizenship and Recreation, The Canada Council for the Arts and Canada's Year of Asia Pacific grants.