Kenneth John Ortega|
April 18, 1950
Palo Alto, California
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.
Life and career
Ortega was born in Palo Alto, California. He attended Sequoia High School (Redwood City, California). Ortega is the son of Madeline, a waitress, and Octavio "Tibby" Ortega, a factory worker from Redwood City. His grandparents were from Spain. 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).
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. 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. 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.
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.
Filmography and concerts
|Year||Title||Notes||Rotten Tomatoes rating||Budget||Gross|
|1985||St. Elmo's Fire||Choreographer||47%||N/A||$37,803,672|
|1986||Pretty in Pink||Choreographer||81%||N/A||$40,471,663|
|Ferris Bueller's Day Off||Choreographer||79%||$6 million||$70,136,369|
|1987||Dirty Dancing||Choreographer||68%||$6 million||$213,954,274|
|1992||Newsies||Choreographer, Director||30%||$15 million||$2,819,485|
|1993||Hocus Pocus||Director||32%||$28 million||$39,514,713|
|1995||To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar||Choreographer||42%||N/A||$47,774,193|
|1998||Quest for Camelot||Choreographer||36%||$40 million||$22,510,798|
|2006||High School Musical||Choreographer, Director||56%||$4.4 million||N/A|
|2006||The Cheetah Girls 2||Choreographer, Director||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|2007||High School Musical 2||Choreographer, Director||57%||$7 million||N/A|
|2008||High School Musical 3: Senior Year||Choreographer, Director||65%||$11 million||$252,909,177|
|2008||Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert||Choreographer||71%||$7 million||$70,642,036|
|2009||Michael Jackson's This Is It||Director||81%||$60 million||$261,183,588|
|1988||Dirty Dancing||Director, 2 episodes|
|1990||Hull High||Choreographer, director, 2 episodes|
|1996||Second Noah||Director, 1 episode|
|1998–1999||Chicago Hope||Director, 2 episodes|
|2000||Resurrection Blvd.||Director, 1 episode|
|2001||Grounded for Life||Director, 1 episode|
|2001||Ally McBeal||Director, 3 episodes|
|2002–2006||Gilmore Girls||Director, 11 episodes|
|2011||Phineas and Ferb||Guest star, 1 episode|
|2012||Bunheads||Director, 1 episode|
|1989–1990||Cher's Heart of Stone Tour||Director|
|1992–1993||Michael Jackson's Dangerous World Tour||Director|
|1996–1997||Michael Jackson's HIStory World Tour"||Director|
|2003–2004||Gloria Estefan's Live & Unwrapped||Show Director and Choreographer|
|2006–2007||High School Musical: The Concert"||Director|
|2007–2008||Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Tour"||Director, Choreographer|
|2009–2010||Michael Jackson's This Is It concerts||Director|
|2008||ALMA Award||Special Achievement Award – Outstanding Director|
|2009||National Association of Latino Independent Producers||Outstanding Achievement Award|
|30th Young Artist Awards||Jackie Coogan Award - Contribution to Youth|
- Kenny Ortega Interview, Michael Jackson's This Is It.
- Hartlaub, Peter (2008-10-19). "Ortega directs 'High School Musical 3'". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2010-10-31.
- Hernández, Lee (October 23, 2008). "Kenny Ortega: The man behind every step of 'High School Musical 3'". Daily News (New York).
- "Kenny Ortega: Biography" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-06-15.
- Segal, Lewis (February 1, 2008). "Dance Review: At least dancers had a 'Ball'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 5, 2012.
- "Michael Jackson Gets Ready For Tour". news.sky.com. 2009-05-12.
- Hinckley, Daivd; Huff, Richard (2009-07-08). "Michael Jackson's memorial 2nd most-watched funeral ever, after Princess Di, say Nielsen ratings". New York: nydailynews.com.
- Footloose Remake Loses Its Director News in Film
- Gans, Andrew. "Universal Plans Silver-Screen Adaptation of In the Heights'", playbill.com, November 7, 2008
- http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/theater-dance/lionsgate-announces-dirty-dancing-remake-directed-by-original-choreographer-kenny-ortega/2011/08/08/gIQAVfDF3I_story.html?wprss=rss_national. Missing or empty
- ALMA Awards Special Achievement Award –Outstanding Director
- Kenny-Ortega and Roselyn-Sanchez at Alma Awards
- Outstanding Achievement Award
- "30th Annual Young Artist Awards". Retrieved May 11, 2012.
- Official website
- Kenny Ortega at the Internet Broadway Database
- Kenny Ortega at the Internet Movie Database
- Kenny Orgeta at MVDbase.com
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