Michael Jackson chooses Director Kenny Ortega for THIS IS IT Concerts
Michael Jackson: King Of Pop
Kenny Ortega Announced As Show Director
May 12th, 2009
Kenny Ortega, the renowned Director, Producer, Choreographer and creative
talent is hard at work collaborating with Michael Jackson in the
overall design and direction for the upcoming ‘This Is It’ concert
shows. Ortega previously worked on Michael Jackson’s Dangerous and HIStory tours, some of the most spectacular shows ever staged.
week, thousands of dancers flew in from every corner of the globe
including Japan, Australia, South America and Europe to audition for
Jackson and Ortega – all of them were chasing their dream of winning a
spot to perform on stage with their idol Michael Jackson.
after the selection process narrowed the competition from thousands of
submissions to over five hundred top international dancers, there was
still no dance space large enough in Los Angeles or New York to house
the auditions. The
producers ended up booking LA’s Nokia Theatre LA LIVE, part of the site
where the Grammy Awards are held each year, to handle the unprecedented
numbers of performers who flocked to these auditions.
having once been in partnership with Gene Kelly, is most recently known
for his work as the Director and Choreographer of Disney’s, High School
Musical 1, 2 & 3. Ortega
also Produced and Directed the Barbra Streisand’s Millennium concert
tour and is a two time Emmy award winner for his work as Director and
Choreographer of the 2002 Winter Olympics opening and closing
ceremonies in Salt Lake City, Utah.
receiving the phone call from Michael to lead the team, Ortega said,
"My answer was without a beat nothing could keep me away. Collaborating
with Michael on the Dangerous and HIStory tours were two of the
greatest creative experiences of my life, to be invited to partner with
him again is a dream come true. Working
with Michael is always a true and full partnership, he is a creative
mastermind, he assembles top professionals to lead his team and then
inspires each and every one of us to climb to new places, break out of
the box and conquer new challenges. He is the most significant artist and entertainer of our generation.”
It" is a spectacular concert experience incorporating iconic Jackson
songs and choreography mixed with original new works.
Ortega says, "Our show goals are to create more than a concert but a
complete theatrical musical experience with a dynamic balance that
features Jackson in production both spectacular and intimate settings. The
stage set, choreography, costumes, lighting, effects and overall
production will be of the highest standard and pushing the state of the
Michael is dedicated to every detail and aspect of the show working closely with his creative and talented production team. He is “tremendously excited” about sharing his stage show with hundreds of thousands of fans this summer in London.
Ortega goes on to say, "It has been over a decade since Michael and I worked on the HIStory tour together. We had been in discussion in the last couple of years about finding a new project to work on. When I got the call to join him for these concerts I was in-between gigs, catching my breath. I had just finished a World Press tour for High School Musical and was about to start a new film. In accepting the invitation I had to move a few mountains to clear my schedule, but I’m thrilled to say I’m fully on board.”
Casting is in final stages for dancers and the band. The
dedication, passion and determination of these performers, who are all
personally inspired by Michael Jackson brings an unprecedented
intensity to the stage. Michael
Jackson, The King of Pop, has influenced a generation of performers
through his music, dance and stage shows impacting an art form.
This week with rehearsals in full swing the impossible has become
possible as details to this complex and dramatic show are being put
together. And when moments get intense and exciting in rehearsals an age-old British tradition has been adopted – a tea break!
Ortega adds, "I go to work each day with a huge sense of joy just knowing what is in store. Michael, the team and I will hash out a creative idea, we’re ready to implement it and Michael will say let’s sleep on it. The next day he is back in studio raising the bar to the next level and pushing us further for greater dynamic results.”
Randy Phillips, President & CEO of AEG
Live, commented, "The unprecedented demand for these shows turned
public on a normal salt into a cultural phenomenon and pushed the
boundaries by which we measure success. Michael and Kenny are creating an
Escapist adventure that will take the audience on an entertainment
experience only imagined in dreams or big budget motion pictures. This is the perfect pairing on unique creative talents with the greatest repertoire in contemporary music.”
concludes, "I am looking forward to the creative days ahead as we build
a Michael Jackson experience like no other, and to ultimately arriving
at The O2 – a magnificent venue and a worldly place. I am
thrilled to be a part of the team that once again is bringing Michael
Jackson, the greatest entertainer of our generation, back to the stage
and into the light and love of his devoted fans. "
By the end of the 50 concerts, 1 million fans will have witnessed one of the greatest musical events in history. This
will be the last chance to see the King of Pop in London in what will
be a historic stage show, and once in a lifetime concert experience –
this really is it!
Note To Editors – One of the world’s most popular
entertainers, Michael Jackson has sold over 750 million units worldwide
and is one of the very few artists to be twice inducted into the U.S.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Guinness Book of World Records
has recognized Michael Jackson as the Most Successful Entertainer of
All Time and Thriller as The Biggest Selling Album of All Time. Jackson won 13 Grammy Awards and received the American Music Award’s Artist of the Century Award.
Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” 50 concerts sold out in a matter of hours on March 13th smashing box office records.
Production Team Includes: Production Team Includes:
· Kenny Ortega, Producer / Director
· Michael Cotton, Production Designer
· Patrick Woodroffe, Lighting Designer