Artistic Director Janak Khendry Dance Company
An internationally renowned classical dancer and choreographer, Janak Khendry has trained extensively in four distinct dance styles of India: Bharatanatyam, Khatak, Sattriya and Manipuri. Khendry’s Bharatanatyam training for more than thirty-five years started in 1955 in Chidambaram, a city famous for its Nataraja Temple in South India, and Kattumanarkoil a small village in South India with Guru Swami Muttukumar Pillia. Khendry also studied Modern Dance at the Ohio State University for two years with an emphasis on Graham, Limon and Cunningham techniques and was a recipient of a scholarship from the prestigious Julliard School of Music and Dance in New York City. He moved to Canada in 1979.
Khendry’s very distinguished dance career spans over fifty-five years and has given more than a thousand performances in different parts of the world. He was invited to give five command performances for two past Presidents of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad and Dr. S. Radhakrishnan in India, and for the Vice-President of the United States, Mr. Hubert Humphrey, in Washington, D.C. at the inauguration of CARE and MEDICARE projects. He was one of the five artists invited from across the United States. He has been invited by major museums and universities in the United States to perform, lecture and conduct workshops and has performed very extensively in India, the USA, Canada, Mexico, South Africa and South East Asia. In 1978 Khendry was invited by the Allentown Museum of Art to be the Guest Curator for a special exhibition The Sensuous Line and create two dance works based on that theme. In 1994 he was commissioned by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to choreograph and present The Monk, The Courtesan and The Charioteer, which has been performed in five countries.
Khendry’s professional choreographic career started as early as 1961 in Hyderabad, India. In 1965, he was invited by the Educational Television Channel 13 in New York City to choreograph thirteen programmes, “FABLES and LEGENDS of INDIA.” Some of the major created works are BASANT, SHAYAMA, KUMAR SAMBHAVAM, MEGHDUTT, SURYA, MOODS of the RHYTHMS, PANCHAKALYANAKA from the life of MAHAVIRA, SOUND of the HILLS, THE GODS ARE DANCING and WOMEN LIBERATED.
In 1998 he realized his life’s dream to choreograph and present GAYATRI, a one-hour-and-fifteen minute work with four dancers. This work was sponsored by the Centre for South Asian Studies, University of Toronto. In 2004, after four-and-a-half years of research, Khendry presented UPANISHAD, a two-and-a-half hour work with fourteen dancers of several disciplines. UPANISHAD was the most important work of Khendry’s dance career to date. In 2006, Khendry created two new works: CHANDRAKAUNS and DREAM of a DRUNKEN GOD. Since 2009 he has created GANGA, KAAL-TIME, PARADISE LOST and LIFE ETERNAL.
Khendry is a recipient of several very prestigious Grants and Awards: The Nizam’s Trust Grant, India; Sangeet Natak Akademi, India; Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council, The Canada Council For the Arts, Toronto Metropolitan Cultural Affairs, Laidlaw Foundation, Ministry of Culture, Citizenship and Recreation, Canada’s Year of Asia Pacific and The Yehan Numata Programme in Buddhist Studies, University of Toronto.
Khendry was a member of the South East-Asian Studies Seminar Group, Columbia University, New York City, for seven years where he presented several papers on Indian Art. During his eighteen years stay in the United States, he lectured on Indian Art and Aesthetics at several major universities. Because of his highly scholarly and philosophical approach to his creative works, Khendry has a high profile with museums and academic institutions.
Khendry has a Master’s Degree in sculpture from Ohio State University. He has had eight solo sculpture exhibitions and his works are in private collections in India, USA, Canada and Europe. Khendry’s other fields of specialization are Indian and Italian Renaissance’s art history. In 2011 Khendry was part of the power list of thirty most important Indo-Canadians - presented by INDIA ABROAD.