Kenny Ortega

Choreographer, Director, Producer
An Emmy Award winner, Kenny Ortega in the 1990s and 2000s made himself the most celebrated choreographer and helmsman of filmed and live musical stage shows in America, choreographing some of most famous dance scenes in ... Read more »
Born: 04/17/1950 in Palo Alto, California, USA

Filmography

Director (22)

Descendants 2014 - 2015 (TV Show)

Director

A Change of Heart 2014 (Movie)

(Director)

Bunheads 2012 (Tv Show)

Director

Michael Jackson's This Is It 2009 (Movie)

(Director)

High School Musical 3: Senior Year 2008 (Movie)

(Director)

Gilmore Girls 2002 - 2006 (Tv Show)

Director

The Cheetah Girls 2 2005 - 2006 (TV Show)

Director

Ally McBeal 1990 - 1991, 1995 - 1998, 2000 - 2003 (Tv Show)

Director

Grounded For Life 1990 - 1991, 1995 - 2003 (Tv Show)

Director

Hull High 1990 - 1991, 1995 - 2003 (Tv Show)

Director

Resurrection Blvd. 1990 - 1991, 1997 - 1998, 2000 - 2003 (Tv Show)

Director

Second Noah 1990 - 1991, 1995 - 1998, 2000 - 2003 (Tv Show)

Director

girls club 1990 - 1991, 1997 - 1998, 2001 - 2003 (Tv Show)

Director

Barbra Streisand -- Timeless 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Director

Fame L.A. 1990 - 1991, 1997 - 1998 (Tv Show)

Director

Hocus Pocus 1993 (Movie)

(Director)

Newsies 1992 (Movie)

(Director)

Cher... At the Mirage 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Director

Salsa 1988 (Movie)

2nd unit director (Director)

Ferris Bueller's Day Off 1986 (Movie)

2nd unit director (Director)

High School Musical (TV Show)

Director

High School Musical 2 (TV Show)

Director
Producer (13)

A Change of Heart 2014 (Movie)

(Producer)

Michael Jackson's This Is It 2009 (Movie)

(Producer)

High School Musical 3: Senior Year 2008 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

High School Musical: The Concert 2006 - 2007 (TV Show)

Producer

ABC 50th Anniversary Celebration 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Segment Producer

The Disco Ball 2002 - 2003 (TV Show)

Producer

2002 Olympic Winter Games 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Segment Producer

The 80th Annual Miss America Pageant 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Producer

The 79th Annual Miss America Pageant 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Producer

The BRIT Awards '96 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Segment Producer

Salsa 1988 (Movie)

(Associate Producer)

The Way She Moves (TV Show)

Co-Executive Producer
Actor (12)

Dancing With the Stars 2006, 2014 (Tv Show)

Guest

So You Think You Can Dance 2012 (Tv Show)

Actor

Phineas and Ferb 2011 (Tv Show)

Voice

Michael Jackson's This Is It 2009 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Chicago Hope 1990 - 1991, 1995 - 2003 (Tv Show)

Actor

The 77th Annual Miss America Pageant 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

America's Dance Honors 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

And God Created Woman 1988 (Movie)

Mike (Actor)

Salsa 1988 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

America Picks the No. 1 Songs 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor
Executive (1)

The 1996 Summer Olympics 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Executive
Music (1)

Salsa 1988 (Movie)

("Good Lovin'") (Song Performer)
Other (34)

Michael Jackson's This Is It 2009 (Movie)

(Choreographer)

High School Musical 3: Senior Year 2008 (Movie)

(Choreographer)

The 72nd Annual Academy Awards 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Choreographer

Quest for Camelot 1998 (Movie)

choreography (Choreographer)

Hocus Pocus 1993 (Movie)

(Choreographer)

Dangerous 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Choreographer

Newsies 1992 (Movie)

choreography (Choreographer)

Dirty Dancing 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Choreographer

Mickey's 60th Birthday Special 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Choreographer

Shag: The Movie 1989 (Movie)

choreography (Choreographer)

The 61st Annual Academy Awards Presentation 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Choreographer

The American Music Awards 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Choreographer

And God Created Woman 1988 (Movie)

choreography consultant (Consultant)

Disney's Totally Minnie 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Choreographer

Motown Merry Christmas 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Choreographer

Salsa 1988 (Movie)

choreography (Choreographer)

The American Music Awards 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Choreographer

The Great Outdoors 1988 (Movie)

choreography (Choreographer)

Dirty Dancing 1987 (Movie)

choreography (Choreographer)

Ferris Bueller's Day Off 1986 (Movie)

choreography (Choreographer)

Neil Diamond... Hello Again 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Choreographer

Pretty in Pink 1986 (Movie)

choreography (Choreographer)

Jump! 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Choreographer

Motown Revue 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Choreographer

St. Elmo's Fire 1985 (Movie)

choreography (Choreographer)

Jump 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Choreographer

Cheryl Ladd: Scenes From a Special 1981 - 1982 (TV Show)

Choreographer

Let's Get Physical -- Olivia Newton-John 1981 - 1982 (TV Show)

Choreographer

One From the Heart 1981 (Movie)

choreography (Choreographer)

Olivia Newton-John's Hollywood Nights 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Choreographer

Xanadu 1979 (Movie)

choreography (Choreographer)

The Olivia Newton-John Show 1976 - 1977 (TV Show)

Choreographer

United We Stand (TV Show)

Creative Consultant

Biography

An Emmy Award winner, Kenny Ortega in the 1990s and 2000s made himself the most celebrated choreographer and helmsman of filmed and live musical stage shows in America, choreographing some of most famous dance scenes in film, producing live sports-ceremony extravaganzas and stewarding one of most phenomenal musical drama franchises in history. Ortega arrived on the American film scene portentously working with Gene Kelly on his final feature film, the camp classic "Xanadu" (1980), and went on to create the smoldering dance scenes in "Dirty Dancing," direct Disney features and episodic TV, produce Super Bowl halftimes and Olympic ceremonies, and partner with Michael Jackson on his envelope-pushing stage shows. In 2006, he produced and directed The Disney Channel's ballyho d "High School Musical" (2006), whose two sequels would set home-video and even box-office sales records. In the summer of 2009, he was working again with Jackson on his much anticipated "This Is It" comeback tour when the singer died suddenly, after which Ortega produced and directed "This Is It" (2009), a documentary made from the footage of their tour preparations. A creative link between the experimental rock stage shows of the 1970s and the dazzling multimedia entertainments of arena rock; of entertainment and sports; of classic Hollywood musicals and early 21st Century teen culture, Ortega arguably became one of the most influential pop culture purveyors in show business.

EDUCATION

Canada College

Redwood City , California 1968

Sequoia High School

Redwood City , California 1964 - 1968
Performed in high school productions

Canada College

Redwood City , California 1968

Milestones

2009

Directed "Michael Jackson: This Is It," compiled from an estimated 80 hours of rehearsal and behind-the-scenes footage of his never seen concert

2008

Directed the third and final Disney channel TV-movie "High School Musical 3: Senior Year"

2007

Helmed the Disney TV-movie, "High School Musical 2"

2006

Directed the Disney Channel TV-movie, "High School Musical"

2002

Directed several episodes of the WB series, "Gilmore Girls"

2002

Directed the "XIX Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony"

2001

Directed episodes of the FOX series, "Ally McBeal"

1998

Directed episodes of the CBS medical drama, "Chicago Hope"

1992

Feature film directing debut with "Newsies"

1990

Directed pilot and several episodes of NBC series, "Hull High" (also co-executive produced and choreographed)

1988

First film credit as song performer (also 2nd unit director and choregrapher), "Salsa"

1988

TV directing debut on "Dirty Dancing" series (also choreographer)

1988

Screen acting debut in "And God Created Woman" (also choreography consultant)

1986

First film as 2nd unit director (also choreographer), "Ferris Bueller's Day Off"

1980

Debut as film co-choreographer, "Xanadu"

1979

Assisted choreographer Toni Basil on first feature film, "The Rose"

1968

Landed the role of George Berger in San Francisco company of "Hair"

Began working with rock group The Tubes; staged and performed with The Tubes for five world tours

Began working as an actor in local repertory theater at age 13

Appeared in the American Conservatory Theatre production of "The Last Sweet Days of Isaac"

While in high school was a member of the Hyatt Music Theatre in Burlingame, CA and the Circle Star Theatre in San Carlos, CA

Played George Berger for three years in the national touring company of "Hair"

Choreographed TV special for "Cher"

Bonus Trivia

.

Ortega received a NARAS Award and an MTV Award for Madonna's music video "Material Girl"

.

He was awarded MTV Best International Video/Latin for his work with Chayanne.

.

Ortega was given the Golden Eagle Awards for best choregraphy for "Dirty Dancing" (1987) and "Salsa" (1988).

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