URSA MAJOR: A Polyphonic Masque for Speakers and Dancers.

Kentville, Nova Scotia: Gaspereau Press, 2003. First edition. Afterword by Peter Sanger. The edition, the only one done, is limited to about 800 copies. Measuring 7.5 x 11 inches, the book is printed offset in three colors, gray, blue and black, with a wood engraving of Ursa Major (bear) by Wesley Bates hand-printed from the block by Andrew Steeves on the title page and stylistically rendered on the cover. The paperback is sewn with black free endpapers and deep blue self-covers with flaps. The title is printed in silver on the cover and spine and the cover's illustration of Ursa Major is only partially shown and is printed oversized compared to the title page illustration. There is an advertising paper band for the book around the back cover. The roman and italic type used is Dante. The Greek type is New Hellenic and the Canadian Syllabic type is Ugammaq. This is a script used by certain Native Americans. There is a note on these three typefaces and their history. Robert Bringhurst defines Ursa Major as "a poem that marries Cree and Greek traditions in a form that is a cross between a five-act play and a string quartet." Using Ovid’s "Metamorphoses," Leonard Bloomfield’s "Sacred Stories of the Sweet Grass Cree, and the night sky as his primary sources," Bringhurst created a play that sounds out cultural variations on the myth of the great bear constellation in four languages--English, Latin, Greek and Cree. The polyphonic aspect of this project allows for voices that intertwine, but never approach what Bringhurst calls a "reciprocating, linear exchange." This technique parallels and enhances the fascinating discovery of a central myth in multiple cultures. Ursa Major was first performed by the Regina dance company New Dance Horizons on March 11, 2002. This publication is an attempt to express that performance on the page. The book is comprised of three parts. The first is a version in which the speaker’s lines flow individually, the second a Voice Map in which these lines are displayed as they overlap in a polyphonic performance and the third an in-depth afterward by Peter Sanger entitled "Late at the Feast." Included is the mailed prospectus, which is an 8 x 4 inch gray card printed in two colors, black and red. Also included is text from the Garpereau web site that describes the book and gives an in-depth explanation of the book and its poetry. As new.
Item #55646

Price: $75.00

See all items in PLAY
See all items by