NEWARK, N.J.—Shen Yun Performing Arts opened to a sold-out audience at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center on May 4, the first of five performances running through May 7.
Among the audience members was Steve Neuhaus, Orange County executive, who saw Shen Yun for the first time.
“It was absolutely wonderful—the music was incredible, the dancing was incredible, and I absolutely love the story—a wonderful experience,” he said.
New York-based Shen Yun is the world’s premier classical Chinese dance company, with a mission to revive 5,000 years of Chinese civilization.
Neuhaus said he enjoyed traveling through time through the stories, which included ancient legends as well as contemporary tales of courage.
Orange County is located in New York’s Hudson Valley, which has been named one of the top places to visit in the world by National Geographic Traveler magazine. Seeing the performance, Neuhaus said he had another reason to be proud: Shen Yun has made Orange County its home.
“We’re super proud,” he said. “Eight companies—it’s incredible. I think it’s nothing but a positive message and it’s going to have a wonderful reception across the globe, and I’m certainly going to praise it and tell all my friends.”
“It’s definitely something you don’t want to miss, and you can see it with your children, you can watch it with your spouse, your friends, it’s just a universal message of positive energy,” he said. “You can see the joy in their faces as they’re performing.”
Neuhaus said some of the messages he gleaned were of hope in dark times, perseverance, and how “the spirit of freedom is in all of us.” Neuhaus has traveled all over the world as a commander for the U.S. Navy and has seen that “freedom is contagious.”
“Everywhere I’ve went, they’re mostly good people, and it’s just the governments [that are oppressive],” he said.
“I think the best is yet to come, and I think that’s what a lot of those messages showed, that in the toughest times come the Creator and help us,” he said.
‘They Were Just Perfect’
Also visiting from Orange County was Paul Arteta, the sheriff of Orange County.
“This was fantastic,” Arteta said. “You’re in the freest country in the world, and to come here and show us what goes on in other countries that we don’t necessarily know about is great.”
Arteta said the stories, especially those showing what is happening in China today, were touching to witness. “Even after all the bad stuff that goes on in that country, they can come here and do happy things for us.”
“I think the performers were excellent, not a mistake in the bunch—they were just perfect!”
“They brought positivity to New Jersey,” he said. “They can bring positivity anywhere.”
“I would come again. I have a little 8-year-old girl who loves to dance, and I would love to take her.”
“It was beautiful, it was wonderful to watch. I learned a lot about the culture and the variety of dance that represents China, that goes on in China even under such a cruel regime,” he said. “I think we’re bringing positivity to other countries, which is a great thing.”
Reporting by NTD.
The Epoch Times is a proud sponsor of Shen Yun Performing Arts. We have covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.