Viviane (or Vivianne) Gauthier (March 17, 1918 – June 1, 2017) was a Haitian dancer and teacher of Haitian folkloric dance who studied Haitian folklore with Katherine Dunham-trained Lavinia Williams of which she is considered the heir. She eventually opened the Viviane Gauthier School of Dance in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. 

Nicknamed “Vivi”, Gauthier learned to dance by imitating the workers on her parent’s sugar plantation. Her father died when she was very young, a circumstance which caused her to have to work to help support the family. She grew up in a very strict household. She was the grand-daughter of Haitian President Florvil Hyppolite but did not find out until age 30. For a time she lived in Cap-Haïtien at Rue 24. She studied accounting at the Maurice Laroche school and practiced as an accountant of the Haitian National Lottery for 21 years while studying and teaching dance in the afternoons.

Her formal training appears to have started in the early 1950s when Lavinia Williams, an African-American following in the footsteps of Katherine Dunham came to teach in Port-au-Prince at the invitation of the Haitian government. Gauthier was around 34. She is said to have served as Lavinia Williams’ assistant at the Haitian Academy of Folklore and Classic Dance in the 1950s and 1960s. Williams, a Katherine Dunham trainee, had been courted away from her dance studio in Brooklyn, New York, by President Paul Magloire around 1951 to start the school in Port-au-Prince which would train Gauthier along with other Haitian dance stalwarts such as Lynn Williams Rouzier and Régine Montrosier-Trouillot

Source: Wikipedia //