Future Currents: Los Angeles River


Free Outdoor Festival | April 5, 2019

Underwriting for Future Currents: Los Angeles River is generously provided by Conor O’Neil 

Performances, Workshops, Food Trucks, Photo Opps, and More!

Plus, enter for a chance to win a kayaking adventure for you + a friend with LA River Kayak Safari! ( $150 value)

On Friday, April 5th, 2019, The Soraya presents an all-day festival featuring dance, music, and art inspired by the Los Angeles River. The culmination of an unprecedented 6-month collaboration between CSUN students from various disciplines, The Soraya, Associated Students, and local and national eco-artists; Future Currents: Los Angeles River serves to shine a light on an ecological issue core to the future of Los Angeles.

The festival will feature a sculptural installation by Los Angeles sculptor and founder of LA River Kayak Safari, Steve Appleton. Appleton’s sculpture, Alluvial Wave, is a large scale sculptural installation that models the physical, environmental, and social forces of the Los Angeles River, while creating a dynamic space for a collaboration with Artichoke Dance Company. The sculpture is made out materials from the river: native and invasive plants, up-cycled bottle plastic, tumbled rocks and swaths of colorful fabric caught in trees during rainstorms.


The CSUN Percussion Ensemble will perform Liquid State, a composition by CSUN student Genevieve Hilburn using found objects from the Los Angeles River. The ensemble will be joined by Los Angeles Ney player Danny Shamoun.
Eco-Artist and Choreographer Lynn Neuman premieres her piece choreographed for Future Currents: LA River. Visioning Bodies, a contemporary folk dance for a resilient future, creates a way of existing in place, time, and energy that models co-created and interconnected systems.
The Global Trance Ensemble makes its debut featuring Los Angeles Ney player Danny Shamoun. Shamoun has brought some of the top LA musicians performing Middle Eastern music together for the first time to highlight the Ney, a flute made from Arundo Donax, the same material used by Hilburn in Liquid State.

Danny Shamoun, Ney
Ali Tolga Demirtas, Piano and Keys
Yara Bahonar, Violin
Bahman Mirzazadeh, Guitar, Oud, and Tar
Itay Benda Ben David, Drums
Kfir Melamed, Bass Guitar
The Soraya’s Executive Director, Thor Steingraber, will moderate a discussion on the Arts’ place in environmental issues with eco-artists Lynn Neuman and Steve Appleton. Both Neuman and Appleton have extensive histories using their art as a vehicle of education and activism for environmental issues.
Under the direction of Professor Paula Thomson in collaboration with Lynn Neuman, CSUN Dance students will perform works choreographed for Future Currents: LA River. Neuman spent time with the student dancers starting in October of 2018 teaching them about site specific works, and artists' roles in ecological activism.

Title Space
Jesse Perez Our Own Demise Under the Elevated Walkway
Matisse Swanson Onions On the Elevated Walkway
Earl Lopez No There; Before and After Alcove and Courtyard Trees
Cindy Padilla La Sembradora Courtyard
Alexis Ramirez Stripped Tree Grove
Alexis Harrington Heart Cry Reflecting Pool
Jessica Espinoza Devil's Path Lawn (In front of the Reflecting Pool)
The CSUN Percussion Ensemble will perform Liquid State, a composition by CSUN student Genevieve Hilburn using found objects from the Los Angeles River. The ensemble will be joined by Los Angeles Ney player Danny Shamoun.
Future Currents: Los Angeles River will conclude with reprise performances of the Global Trance Ensemble and Visioning Bodies in The Soraya's courtyard, complemented by local food trucks, beer, and wine.


Festival attendees will have a hands-on opportunity to make musical instruments including: Panpipes, Tambo Arundo (percussion instrument), and a Horn. All instruments will be made from Arundo Donax, an invasive plant that clogs the LA River. This reed has a long history as a useful material for the Middle Eastern flute known as the Ney. The instruments were created by renowned Ethnomusicologist Dr. Craig Woodson. Soraya S.P.A.C.E. students and sculptor Steve Appleton will assist the workshop.

Play your instruments in an Arundo Jam Session at 12PM and 1:30PM

Dancers from the Artichoke Dance Company, founded by Lynn Neuman, will lead a group of pre-registered attendees in a movement workshop, demonstrating how ecological elements can be used as inspiration in dance. This workshop has limited space available, so pre-register to ensure your spot!

Reserve Now





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Middle Feast

Original Grilled Cheese Truck


College students make musical instruments from trash in the L.A. River | Los Angeles Times

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L.A. River's Invasive Weeds Find An Artistic Purpose | KCET

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LA River Celebrated At Free, All-Day Fest At The Soraya, April 5 | Broadway World

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