Otea Api – Fremont based Tahitian Cultural Group


Otea Api located in Fremont, CA.  is a Tahitian culture group that practices Tahitian drum and dance.


Authenticity is an organic and variable component of the groups functioning. Different levels of “tradition” are employed based on the audience that a piece is being performed for.  Within the group, practically and creativity trumps tradition.  While adhering to a strict level of tradition (by sticking to certain drum rhythms, hip movements, and language), the group employs creative license whenever it increases their ability to express themselves. By moving away from a strict interpretation of the art form, the group has made the culture more accessible to outsiders.

Biography of The Main Artist

Kumu Hula Anthony Waipa Manaois is one of the main instructor, choreographer, musician and composer for the  Group. He has led the group Otea Api to Overall Titles at the San Jose Tahiti Fete, Kiki Raina Tahiti Fete, Kauai Tahiti Fete, and Kauai Polynesian Festival. Actively performing and teaching throughout the state of California and abroad, Anthony comes from a family dedicated to the Polynesian culture and arts. His mother is Kumu Hula Ruth Nalua Manaois. She is a graduate of Kumu Hula Aunty Loeklani Noeau Thomas and graduate/understudy to the late Kumu Hula Master Joseph Kamohai Kahaulelio. His sister is Katrina Haleemaile deJesus Kumu Hula. They are a family that shares the knowledge of a rich culture with pride and respect for their art.  

Interview Excerpts with Anthony Waipa Taken 5/9/12 7: 15 at Pacific Exchange Production’s Dance Studio, 42285 OSGOOD DR. STE-D FREMONT , CA. 94539. Interviewed by Joshua Coronado

“Every time I had a dance piece, it was always a meaning for something.  I taught that, I told the story of it.  And that’s the only way that you know, the motions can come out. The emotions, the motions, and you can portray what you need to portray on stage.  And I think that’s one of the reasons why they come.” “This was something that they can escape to.  In their daily life.  Even adults, kids, and everything.  And I made it a point to tell my students that when you on the stage, you can become whoever you want.  And let that, come out of you.”

Show        Website+-+Otea+Vaiete+Instructions

Otea Api Audio Clip

Researcher – Josh Coronado

One thought on “Otea Api – Fremont based Tahitian Cultural Group

  1. Hello Josh Coronado and Otea Api group!

    My name is Tabi Reyes and I am a Senior sociology major and journalism minor at the University of San Francisco. I am currently the Student of Color Representative for our student government on campus and the Secretary for USF’s Pacific Islander Collective. I am of Filipino and Chamorro decent.

    I am currently working on an ethnomusicology project about Polynesian music and dance, specifically Tahitian dance and drum. My project specifically aims to uncover the relationship between music and dance contribute to cultural preservation of Polynesian traditions. I was wondering if I can send along some questions to you or one of your representatives about the halau and the practice. Please let me know by sending me an email at tareyes@dons.usfca.edu.

    Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you soon,


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