Manarii Gauthier is the Founder & Ra'atira (Director) of Tahiti Mana. He is also the Tane (Male) Choreographer and Dance Instructor as well as lead Musician. Manarii, born and raised in Tahiti, was immersed in 'Ori Tahiti from birth. His mother danced with Coco Hotahota’s group, Te Maeva, for 20 years. She even participated in the prestigious cultural festival, Heiva i Tahiti, while pregnant with Manarii.
His first dance teacher besides his mother, was the world renowned & highly respected Makau Foster of Tamariki Poerani.
In school, he first performed at age 5 under the direction of legendary tane dancer, “Teve”. In 2004, he danced with Makau Foster's troupe Tamariki Poerani, for Heiva i Tahiti; and in 2005, he represented Teva i Tai in the 'Best Dancer' contest in Heiva i Tahiti.
His journey to Oahu was to play golf at UH Manoa where he graduated with a B.A. and met and married fellow dancer, Nalini.
In 2005, he won the title of ‘Tane Polynesia’ in Kauai. In 2008 and 2009, Manarii choreographed the tane section for the groups that went on to win 1st place overall, Heiva i Honolulu, professional division. He was a performer at Magic of Polynesia from 2007-2015. Manarii won 1st Place Tane from the Polynesian Cultural Center's Tahitian Solo Invitational 2012 as well as Tane Overall at Heiva i Hawaii 2019.
Sharing his culture with others has kept Manarii from missing his homeland and keeps his sons in touch with their Tahitian heritage.
Nalini Gauthier is the Co-Founder of Tahiti Mana, as well as the Creative Director, Costume Designer and Vahine (Female) Choreographer and Dance Instructor. Besides over 20 years of Tahitian & Polynesian dance experience, Nalini also received a B.A. Minor Degree in Dance and is currently on a break from pursuing her Master's Degree in Dance at UH Manoa. She is passionate about teaching and grateful to be able to pass on the knowledge that has been graciously shared with her. Coming from a Traditional Style of Tahitian Dance, with Makau Foster being her main dance inspiration, she believes in the importance of tradition. Studying the Tahitian language and learning ancient legends and history is important to her process and at the same time, when it is appropriate, she is not afraid to push her own boundaries and find inspiration in unexpected ways.
Some highlights from her career include being a featured dancer in TV shows on E!, Comedy Central, and as far as German T.V. She has been blessed to be able to tour Japan performing and has taught workshops in New Zealand, Japan, mainland US as well as around the Hawaiian islands. Her choreography is featured in Waikiki Shows and around the world from Japan to Italy, to Korea and more.
She sees dance as a way to strengthen community, invigorate an individual's body/mind and performing is an honor and a gift to share with the audience.
Tahiti Mana was founded in 2011 by Manarii & Nalini but has become the vibrant dance family it is today because of all the talented and passionate individuals who share the love for Tahitian dance and culture.