Asian Contemporary Media Dance Production

Wahyu has been created as a contemporary media production in three scenes produced for a 300-800 seater theatre. The production is based on the Piano Etudes and Musica Ricercata for piano solo by Hungarian composer Gyorgy Ligeti. It will be performed by three dancers and one pianist on stage and enforced by a Taiwanese lighting designer and two Indonesian video artists. The video clips will be screened as meditative interlude in between the scenes.


Wahyu, in the Javanese mind-set and in its broad sense, is spiritual enlightenment. It is the outcome of a long and difficult spiritual journey, the journey to the ultimate ground of reality, that is, to the origin and the destination of the cosmic flux. Since humans are a microcosmos within the macrocosmos, the human self embodies the whole essential features of cosmic natural reality. Hence the journey outward is the same with the journey inward. And as the great cosmic reality consists of multiple layers ranging from the most superficial and physical to the most sublime and essential, so is the human reality. The quest for the ultimate, then, would go through various layers of the self. By way of meditation and living up to certain ascetic principles, it would break through and conquer the physical, then go deeper, reaching out for the sublime dimension within, where mystical union with God, the ultimate, is made possible; where the primal light or the splendour of the Spirit will shine and emanate. The ultimate, the God within is no other than the deepest I.

The signs of the enlightenment can take the form of an inspiration, reception of a certain message, exceptional insight like telepathy or clairvoyance, but also reception of a certain wahyu in the narrower sense of the term, that is, a sort of falling star indicating that the enlightened person will be glorified worldly glorification, such as high social status or political power ( different colour of light of the falling star, however, may signify an up-coming disaster).

In her quest to explore and express the meaning of these appearances versus reality, the known versus the unknown, the seen versus the unseen and the spiritual versus the physical, choreographer Sen Hea Ha uses the inspiration of Korean shaman and Buddhist rituals, expounding on their symbolic meanings and interpretations to illustrate, transcend, re-create, reinvigorate and finally, reconstruct these age old meanings to contemporary ritual movements and expressions for a contemporary audience.

In essence, Sen Hea attempts to uncover and unfold, yet withholding critical judgment on the essence of what is true spirituality, morality and truth. She hopes to bring the audience on a journey of inner discovery and the mysterious, to uncover the soul of the individual versus the collective, to search for peace and hope in a deep dark place, thus evolving simplicity within complexity until reaching its center of enlightenment and eternity.

Her work allows the audience, at different junctures and different points, to enter and access the third world, the immortal being and thus, leaves the audience a feeling of deep emotional entanglement where they can draw on their inner resources of their soul.

- Prof. Dr. Bambang Sugiharto, February 2005

Cultural Heritage

Tradition has been a major inspiration for Sen Hea Has dances and choreographies. For her, it is not so much the gestures but rather the essence of her cultural heritage that matters. Living in Los Angeles for the past years has opened new windows and avenues for expression. Here, she has experienced both contradictions and tensions; conflict and convergence. It is here that her intercultural negotiation begun.

Sen Hea was trained in traditional Korean dance which involved the learning of steps, movements and techniques but never a word said about the essence where the dancers originated. She simply performed the dance sequences unaware of the great importance placed on those rituals and traditions and never questioned their meaning. But away from her home country, Sen Hea began to trace her cultural heritage, searching for new ways of expression.

Since then, Sen Hea has successfully created a new dance repertoire which is neither Korean nor Western but original, unique, contemporary and distinctive of her own style. Transcending her tradition by taking its virtues, her dance and choreographed creations are based on personal experiences and the evolution of personal conviction in the passage of time.

While themes reveal a strong traditional background, the soul and the movements of her choreography testify to a rejuvenation of standard ancient concepts and a new personalized language of dance which artistically reconciles the traditional with the contemporary.

Sen Hea Ha can be considered the emerging voice of the new Asian artists seeking to find a place in the contemporary artistic world.