Photographer Looks for Cultural Significance in Art of Shen Yun

January 12, 2014 Updated: January 13, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO—Siblings Noah and Sierra Hawthorne left Shen Yun Performing Arts intrigued about Chinese culture and wanting to learn more.

“It is very interesting,” Mr. Hawthorne said at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco, Jan. 12.

Mr. Hawthorne is an emergency room doctor, and runs his own photography business as well. Mr. Hawthorne started his professional photography career as a wildlife photographer in the Peruvian Amazon and has contributed to publications like the BBC International and the New York Times.

Mr. Hawthorne said this was his first encounter with classical Chinese dance and was happy to realize how many dynasties Shen Yun illuminated through the dances, such as with Delicate Beauty of the Han, and Manchurian Grace. He said he was left with a feeling to learn more and understand the cultural significance behind the artistry, of the “movement and the color they presented on stage.”

New York-based Shen Yun revives 5,000 years of Chinese civilization through the universal languages of music and dance, which was a unique experience for Ms. Hawthorne.

“The dancing is very beautiful,” Ms. Hawthorne said. She added that the music was also beautiful and she and her brother had been interested hearing the Chinese reed instrument suona.

Mr. Hawthorne added he saw spiritual elements in the art performed, a side not often seen when discussing modern day China, as the traditional culture is said to be divinely inspired.

Reporting by Michelle Yang and Catherine Yang

New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit Shen Yun Performing Arts.

The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.