Kenny Ortega

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Kenny Ortega
Kenny ortega.jpg
Ortega at This Is It launch in HMV London, February 22, 2010
BornKenneth John Ortega
(1950-04-18) April 18, 1950 (age 63)
Palo Alto, California
United States
OccupationTelevision producer
Film producer
Television director
Choreographer
Years active1980–present
Website
Official site
 
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Kenny Ortega
Kenny ortega.jpg
Ortega at This Is It launch in HMV London, February 22, 2010
BornKenneth John Ortega
(1950-04-18) April 18, 1950 (age 63)
Palo Alto, California
United States
OccupationTelevision producer
Film producer
Television director
Choreographer
Years active1980–present
Website
Official site

Kenneth John "Kenny" Ortega (born April 18, 1950) is an American film and television producer, director, and choreographer, best known for directing Hocus Pocus, the High School Musical trilogy and Michael Jackson's This Is It concerts.[1]

Life and career[edit]

Ortega was born in Palo Alto, California. He is the son of Madeline, a waitress, and Octavio "Tibby" Ortega, a factory worker from Redwood City.[2] His grandparents were from Spain.[3] Initially known for working with dancer and choreographer Gene Kelly on the film Xanadu, Ortega went on to choreographing the dance for the Menudo video "Hold Me", as well as the 1987 film Dirty Dancing, and has won awards for choreography in music videos, such as Madonna's "Material Girl". He also worked with The Tubes on their stage shows and directed the video for She's a Beauty.

Ortega directed Billy Squier's "Rock Me Tonite" video, which is often cited as the worst music promo clip ever made and has been blamed by Squier for killing his career. Together with Michael Jackson, he created and designed the Dangerous World Tour 1992-1993 and the HIStory World Tour 1996-1997. He has also choreographed events ranging from Super Bowl XXX, the 72nd Academy Awards, the 1996 Summer Olympics (Atlanta) and the 2002 Winter Olympics (Salt Lake City).[4]

In addition, Ortega has directed and choreographed High School Musical, High School Musical 2, High School Musical 3: Senior Year, and was choreographer of the The Cheetah Girls 2.

On January 30, 2008, Ortega presented director-choreographer Adam Shankman with a Lifetime Achievement Award at The Carnival: Choreographer's Ball 9th anniversary show.[5]

In May 2009, Ortega began work on the scheduled Michael Jackson 50-date This Is It concerts, which was cancelled subsequent to Jackson's sudden death.[6] He directed the concert film Michael Jackson's This Is It which was put together from rehearsal footage recorded at the Los Angeles Forum and the Staples Center. The film was released on October 28.

Ortega directed the Michael Jackson Public Memorial at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, which was broadcast live on several networks on July 7, 2009. It reached a television audience of 31 million in America, and more than 1 billion worldwide and via the internet.[7] At the end of the service, he introduced a rendition of Jackson's 1985 charity single "We Are the World" created for the This Is It concerts, featuring Jackson's backing singers on lead vocals with his dancers performing around them.

He was set to direct the 2011 Footloose remake, but dropped out in October 2009.[8] Ortega is now set to direct the upcoming movie adaptation of the Broadway musical In the Heights.[9]

On August 9, 2011, it was announced that Ortega will direct a remake of Dirty Dancing, which he choreographed in 1987. Lionsgate Films has yet to announce the release date.[10]

Filmography and concerts[edit]

Film
YearTitleNotesRotten Tomatoes ratingBudgetGross
1980XanaduChoreographer39%$20 million$22,762,571
1985St. Elmo's FireChoreographer47%N/A$37,803,672
1986Pretty in PinkChoreographer81%N/A$40,471,663
Ferris Bueller's Day OffChoreographer84%$6 million$70,136,369
1987Dirty DancingChoreographer68%$6 million$213,954,274
1988SalsaChoreographer50%Usuk$8,892,589
1989ShagChoreographer64%N/A$6,957,975
1992NewsiesChoreographer, Director30%$15 million$2,819,485
1993Hocus PocusDirector32%$28 million$39,514,713
1995To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie NewmarChoreographer42%N/A$47,774,193
1998Quest for CamelotChoreographer36%$40 million$22,510,798
2006High School MusicalChoreographer, Director56%$4.4 millionN/A
2006The Cheetah Girls 2Choreographer, DirectorN/AN/AN/A
2007High School Musical 2Choreographer, Director57%$7 millionN/A
2008High School Musical 3: Senior YearChoreographer, Director65%$11 million$252,909,177
2008Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds ConcertChoreographer71%$7 million$70,642,036
2009Michael Jackson's This Is ItChoreographer, Director81%$60 million$261,183,588
2011In the HeightsDirectorN/AN/AN/A
2013Dirty Dancing remake (pre-production)DirectorN/AN/AN/A
Television
YearTitleNotes
1988Dirty DancingDirector, 2 episodes
1990Hull HighChoreographer, director, 2 episodes
1996Second NoahDirector, 1 episode
1998–1999Chicago HopeDirector, 2 episodes
2000Resurrection Blvd.Director, 1 episode
2001Grounded for LifeDirector, 1 episode
2001Ally McBealDirector, 3 episodes
2002–2006Gilmore GirlsDirector, 11 episodes
2011Phineas and FerbGuest star, 1 episode
2012BunheadsDirector, 1 episode
Concerts
YearTitleNotes
1989–1990Cher's Heart of Stone TourDirector
1992–1993Michael Jackson's Dangerous World TourDirector
1996–1997Michael Jackson's HIStory World Tour"Director
2003–2004Gloria Estefan's Live & UnwrappedShow Director and Choreographer
2006–2007High School Musical: The Concert"Director
2007–2008Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Tour"Director, Choreographer
2009–2010Michael Jackson's This Is It concertsDirector

Movies[edit]

YearTitleRole
2012MarioMario
The Revenge RampagePaul Thomas Paw
2013SpiesPuncher John

Awards[edit]

YearAwardCategory
2008ALMA AwardSpecial Achievement Award – Outstanding Director[11][12]
2009National Association of Latino Independent ProducersOutstanding Achievement Award[13]
30th Young Artist Awards[14]Jackie Coogan Award - Contribution to Youth

References[edit]

External links[edit]