‘We Need This in the World,’ Says Actor After Watching Shen Yun

Jan 19, 2023
‘We Need This in the World,’ Says Actor After Watching Shen Yun
Wes Lewis and Kelli Tremblay attended Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts, on Jan. 18, 2023. (NTD)

GREENSBORO, N.C.—Sitting in the second row of the Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts on Jan. 18 and watching Shen Yun Performing Arts, for the third time, were engineer and actor Wes Lewis and his wife Kelli Tremblay, an insurance agent.

The couple had watched Shen Yun in previous years, and because Shen Yun had an all-new program every year, Mr. Lewis and Ms. Tremblay were able to take delight in new things every time. This time was no exception.

“It was awesome,” Ms. Tremblay said. “Every time, it’s been something totally different, but still inspirational in the message behind what they delivered.”

Based in New York, Shen Yun was founded in 2006 by leading Chinese artists and quickly became the world’s premier classical Chinese dance and music company. Shen Yun’s mission is to revive traditional Chinese culture.
Shen Yun’s program is made up of a number of dance vignettes, some of which are story-based dances. One story-based dance is set in modern-day China and depicts the communist regime’s persecution of followers of Falun Dafa, a spiritual practice that teaches the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. This is a very personal story to some of the performers; according to Shen Yun’s website, many of the performers had to escape China’s oppressive communist regime, and some of the performers and their families have personally experienced the persecution.

“You can see it in their faces that they want to share what they’ve got inside and what they’ve been through,” said Mr. Lewis. “So it’s even more prevalent to see the faces and to see the joy when they’re dancing. You can see what they’ve been through, you can see it in their eyes, but you can also see the final victory, where they’ve gotten freedom. Now they just want to share that joy and share it with everybody.”

During the performance, the emcees inform the audience that alongside ballet, classical Chinese dance is one of the most comprehensive dance systems in the world, and that many of its jumping and tumbling techniques were adopted into other Western art forms like gymnastics.
Ms. Tremblay thought this was very interesting, and praised Shen Yun for being educational. She said that Shen Yun was “beyond being entertaining and the beautiful colors and the talents. It just made me want to dig deeper into this whole history and the situations that come with it, so I feel blessed to be able to be a part of this today.”

Ms. Tremblay said that after learning about how different art forms influenced each other, she believed Shen Yun’s message to be that “we all need to revisit that root [and] recenter.”

Mr. Lewis added that it was important for people to learn about and be open-minded toward other cultures.

“We have to enjoy those cultures and take them in, and that makes us all better,” he said.

We need this in this world.
Wes Lewis

“To all the dancers and all the performers—keep it up,” said Mr. Lewis. “We need this in this world.”

“The story that you’re telling and the love that’s coming out of that stage and the message—I believe it’s reaching out to all of us, and that just needs to keep being shared.”

Reporting by Henry Wang and Wandi Zhu.

The Epoch Times is a proud sponsor of Shen Yun Performing Arts. We have covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.

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