Ulla von Brandenburg, Performance <i>Baisse-toi Montagne, Lève-toi Vallon</i>, Performatik Festival Kaaitheater, Bruxelles, 18-19 mars 2015 © Robin Zenner
Ulla von Brandenburg, performance Sink down mountain, Raise up valley, Performatik Festival Kaaitheater, Brussels, March 18-19, 2015 © Robin Zenner

Sink Down Mountain, Rise Up Valley

Date: 2015
Medium: Performance, film and video installation

Sink Down Mountain, Rise Up Valley is a commission produced as part of Fondation de France's Nouveaux Commanditaires initiative for the Saint-Simoniens residence in Ménilmontant.

Sink Down Mountain, Rise Up Valley, is Ulla Von Brandenburg's first large-scale theatrical performance. The play for five actors and a chorus is based on events, symbols and dressing rituals linked to Saint-Simonianism (the clothing of the Father, the choreography of gestures, the hierarchy of chants, an elementary lesson in astronomy, the manipulation of objects), handled like so many fragments that distantly recall the memory and values of a movement whose failings as a community and sect are obviously food for thought. Presented on a set streamlined from the floor to the ceiling, the performance is chanted, recalling the forms of transmission used in the community of monks that Prosper Enfantin assembled at his Ménilmontant residence in 1832. Chanting, which necessarily feeds on incantatory codes, is also linked to questions of rhyme and metrics, measure and emphasis, as befits this positivist thought. The new order teeters on it, between the melancholy of a lost utopia and the muted fear still generated today by the birth of radical social movements, despite everything. Through the prism of Saint-Simoniansm, Ulla von Brandenburg’s play will no doubt inspire a reconsideration of today’s whistleblowers or members of Anonymous, people who are themselves steeped in idealistic rituals that belong to a broader political and social history.


Commission: Gilles Darcel and Jack Liesveld
Mediation and production: Jérôme Poggi and François Quintin
Director: Ulla von Brandenburg
Music: Joachim Saxenborn, Ulla von Brandenburg
Playwright: Benoît Résillot
With: Pierre Casadei, Lucienne Deschamps, Duncan Evennou, Giuseppe Molino, Benoît Résillot
Costumes: London College of Fashion
Production: Objet de production and Lafayette Anticipations
Delegated production: Karo Sieben et Sabine Tarry
Ulla von Brandenburg, Performance <i>Baisse-toi Montagne, Lève-toi Vallon</i>, Performatik Festival Kaaitheater, Bruxelles, 18-19 mars 2015 © Robin Zenner
Ulla von Brandenburg, performance Sink down mountain, Raise up valley, Performatik Festival Kaaitheater, Brussels, March 18-19, 2015 © Robin Zenner
Performance <i>Baisse-toi Montagne, Lève-toi Vallon</i>, Performatik Festival Kaaitheater, Bruxelles, 18-19 mars 2015 © Robin Zenner
Ulla von Brandenburg, performance Sink down mountain, Raise up valley, Performatik Festival Kaaitheater, Brussels, March 18-19, 2015 © Robin Zenner
Film, <i>Kalns, Grimsti ! Ieleja, Celies !</i>, <i>Sink down mountain, raise up valley !</i>, 2015 © Ulla von Brandenburg
Film, Kalns, Grimsti ! Ieleja, Celies !, Sink down mountain, raise up valley !, 2015 © Ulla von Brandenburg
Installation vidéo, <i>Baisse-toi Montagne, Lève-toi Vallon</i>, Performa 15, New York, 6-15 novembre 2015 © Ian Giles
Ulla von Brandenburg, video installation, Sink down mountain, Raise up valley, Performa 15, New York, November 6-15, 2015 © Ian Giles