The sensational, award winning Tahitian dance group, Tahiti Mana, presented 9 solos and a tamari’i (children) exhibition dance at the 2015 Heiva i Honolulu with a single message: “Dance with Heart; Celebrate Ori Tahiti. Fa’aitoito!!!”
In 2003 with the assistance of the Government of French Polynesia a cultural organization – Tahitinui International – was founded in Hawaii for the purposes of preserving, promoting & sharing the culture of French Polynesia. In recognizing the Heiva as Tahiti’s most emphatic statement of their deep history & rich culture, Tahitinui International organized the first ever Heiva i Honolulu in that year at the Waikiki Shell. Tahiti’s outstanding professional dance group “Les Grands Ballet de Tahiti ” made a guest appearance & the event was packed to the rafters! I have seen this group dance on many occasions – every minute detail is tuned to perfection; it’s simply a staggering performance.
The event grew & in 2005 another of Tahiti’s legendary dance groups, Marguerite Lai’s “O Tahiti E”, again filled the Waikiki Shell to capacity. I watched mesmorised, literally blown away by the sheer beauty of the performance of this group as they won the Heiva i Tahiti in two consecutive years in the late 1990’s.
Last year’s Heiva i Honolulu Grand Champions, the Group of the Year & winner of 11 individual titles – Tahiti Mana – a group founded & directed by Tahitian Manarii (‘Mana’) Gauthier & his wife Nalini, is again preparing for the event. See the report on last year’s massive win here at Tahiti Mana – Heiva i Honolulu Grand Champions:
Bora Bora Insider followed Tahiti Mana’s preparations for this year’s event where amongst the champions to represent Tahiti Mana are none other than Manarii & Nalini’s two sons – Maviri & Taitoa…………..wait for it – aged 7 & just 2.5 years of age respectively! Both have been dancing since they were 2, both love to dance, neither has the slightest stage fright…………ah, like father like sons!
These guys are legends as can be seen from the following photos taken recently at one of the fun parts of training – the show Tahiti Mana performs at the Turtle Bay Resort each week:
The 2015 Heiva i Honolulu would get underway with an exhibition dance by 2 up & coming stars from Tahiti Mana – Taitoa & Lily – both too young to compete in the youngest category (4-6yrs), yet both seasoned performers. They absolutely killed it!
It is intriguing how history repeats itself – I mentioned in my report concerning Tahiti Mana in last year’s Heiva i Honolulu (see link above) that Manarii’s mother had danced the Heiva i Tahiti when pregnant with Manarii – here’s how Taitoa’ mum, Nalini, in part reflected on her son’s performance today: “I danced on this stage when I was 4 months pregnant with him and now he had his own chance to dance on this legendary stage at 2 years old”.
Some shots of the stars as they readied themselves & performed:
Newly found super-star status did not preclude them from being there to encourage Maviri as he prepared in turn for his big moment:
Maviri would not let them down – check out this video taken by smart phone from within the crowd……..Maviri absolutely slayed it (remember this guy is 7 years of age!!!):
Some of the outstanding members of Tahiti Mana who competed in the 2015 Heiva i Honolulu Individual Solo Championships:
Tahiti Mana went on to win 3 Individual Solo Championships in total – Maviri (above) plus, in the following photos, Raimana in the 14-17 yrs & Manuha who won the 18-21 yrs old Championship:
Another captivating performance by Honolulu’s best.
If you missed them, Tahiti Mana will perform at the Heiva i Kauai at the beginning of August – be there!