|Intro||Television and film director, producer, choreographer|
|A.K.A.||Kenneth John "Kenny" Ortega, Kenneth John Ortega, Kenneth Ortega|
|Is||Actor Dancer Film director Choreographer Television actor|
|From||United States of America|
|Type||Dancing Film, Television, Stage and Radio|
|Birth||18 April 1950, Palo Alto, Santa Clara County, California, U.S.A.|
Kenneth John "Kenny" Ortega (born April 18, 1950) is an American producer, director, and choreographer. He is best known for directing Hocus Pocus, the High School Musical trilogy, Descendants and Michael Jackson's This Is It concerts.
Ortega was born in Palo Alto, California, the son of Madeline, a waitress, and Octavio "Tibby" Ortega, a factory worker. Both of his parents were also born in Palo Alto, though his paternal grandparents were Spanish immigrants. He attended Sequoia High School in Redwood City, California, where he was a cheerleader.
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 addition, Ortega has directed and choreographed High School Musical, High School Musical 2, and High School Musical 3: Senior Year, as well as 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.
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.
He was set to direct the 2011 Footloose remake, but dropped out in October 2009. Ortega is now set to direct the upcoming movie adaptation of the Broadway musical In the Heights.
On August 9, 2011, it was announced that Ortega will direct a remake of Dirty Dancing, a project that was later postponed.
On May 12, 2014, Ortega guest-judged on the 18th season of Dancing with the Stars during the semifinals.
In 2014, Ortega signed with Disney to direct Descendants, a new Disney Channel Original Movie. It was released July 31, 2015.
Filmography and concerts
|Year||Title||Role||Rotten Tomatoes rating||Budget||Gross|
|1982||One from the Heart||48%||$26 million||$636,796|
|1985||St. Elmo's Fire||47%||$10 million||$37,803,672|
|1986||Pretty in Pink||81%||$9 million||$40,471,663|
|Ferris Bueller's Day Off||79%||$6 million||$70,136,369|
|1987||Dirty Dancing||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||36%||$40 million||$22,510,798|
|2008||High School Musical 3: Senior Year||Director, Executive Producer, Choreographer||65%||$11 million||$252,909,177|
|Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert||Choreographer||71%||$7 million||$70,642,036|
|2009||Michael Jackson's This Is It||Director, Producer||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|
|1998–99||Chicago Hope||2 episodes|
|2000||Resurrection Blvd.||1 episode|
|2001||Grounded for Life||1 episode|
|2001–02||Ally McBeal||3 episodes|
|2002–06||Gilmore Girls||11 episodes|
|2006||High School Musical||Choreographer, Director||Television movie (budget: $4.4 million)|
|The Cheetah Girls 2||Television movie|
|2007||High School Musical 2||Television movie (budget: $7 million)|
|2015||Descendants||Choreographer, Director||Television movie|
|2016||Crazy Ex-Girlfriend||Director||1 episode|
|The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let's Do the Time Warp Again||Choreographer, Director||Television movie|
|2017||Descendants 2||Television movie|
|1989–90||Cher's Heart of Stone Tour||Director|
|1991–92||Gloria Estefan's Into The Light World Tour||Choreographer|
|1992–93||Michael Jackson's Dangerous World Tour||Director|
|1996–97||Gloria Estefan's Evolution World Tour||Choreographer|
|1996–97||Michael Jackson's HIStory World Tour"||Director|
|2003||Gloria Estefan's Live & Unwrapped||Show Director and Choreographer|
|2004||Gloria Estefan's Live & Re-Wrapped Tour||Choreographer|
|2006–07||High School Musical: The Concert"||Director|
|2007–08||Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Tour"||Director, Choreographer|
|2009–10 (cancelled)||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|