Kenny Ortega Biography
Kenneth "Kenny" John Ortega is an Emmy award-winning American producer, director, and choreographer.
Initially known for working with dancer/choreographer Gene Kelly on the Olivia Newton-John film Xanadu, Ortega went on to his own fame choreographing the 1987 film Dirty Dancing, and has won awards for choreography in music videos, such as Madonna's "Material Girl". Ortega directed Billy Squier's "Rock Me Tonite" video. Together with Michael Jackson, he created and designed the Dangerous World Tour 1992-1993 and the HIStory World Tour 1996-1997.
He has choreographed many major events such as Super Bowl XXX, the 72nd Academy Awards, the 1996 Summer Olympics (Atlanta) and the 2002 Winter Olympics (Salt Lake City). In addition to choreography, Ortega has directed High School Musical, High School Musical 2, High School Musical 3: Senior Year, and was the choreographer of the The Cheetah Girls 2.
In May 2009, Ortega began work on the scheduled Michael Jackson 50-date This Is It concert tour, which was cancelled subsequently due to Jackson's sudden death. He is now directing the concert film Michael Jackson's This Is It releasing October 28.
He directed Jackson's Los Angeles memorial service, which was broadcast live on several networks on July 7, 2009. It reached a television audience of 31 million in America, and hundreds of millions more worldwide and via the internet. At the end of the service, he introduced the star-studded rendition of Jackson's 80s hit "We Are the World" where he also stated he helped create the choreography for the tour.
He is set to direct the Footloose remake starring Gossip Girl actor, Chace Crawford.