Day 45: Bullfight or Corridas De Los Torros

Today i shall dedicate my entry to the beautiful art of bullfighting. I've never seen anything like it in my life. It's not your usual murder of poor animals. It is an art. It is like a dance. Every movement of the bullfighters have grace. It's different seeing it in person. I watched a bullfight on tv when we were in Valencia but seeing it live was an unforgettable experience for me. I don't like the part where they kill the bull in the end but the whole thing in general, impresionante!!

I am so sorry it took me so long to put this entry. It just had to have a beautiful and well written entry of its own. This I consider the mother of all mothers of activities and sights I have seen in Madrid. But I must warn you, this post WILL BE A BIT BLOODY AND MORBID so proceed with caution but I encourage you to read on to learn more about the bull fight or the Corrida

The Corrida (Bullfight)
I am no historian and so I will not put any historical background of this art. I will just explain what I saw in the arena.

I want to thank the guy in the taquilla (ticket booth) because he gave me the best seat, better than I had expected.

There are 3 sections in the arena. The Sol (sun), Sol y Sombra (Sun and Shade) and the Sombra (shade). And ofcourse tickets at the Sombra part are the most expensive. I realized when I was contemplating on which ticket to buy, that in the Sol Y Sombra part, I can see just as well as the Sombra people. The sun will set and there won't be sun the whole time in my place. But as I have said, my place was better than what I had expected. I was in the boundary of the Sol and the Sol Y Sombra part!! :) Meaning, even before the corrida started, there was no sun in my place. But ofcourse at first the sun was all over me

Before the event started, music played. I think they call the music the paso doble. Yes! The paso doble like in the dance :) It's the march like music they play during the corrida del torros.

Then the Paseillo happens. The Paseillo is the entrance of everyone who has a part to play in the corrida. There are two guys in horseback and a pretty costume who enters first in horse back. supposedly, they are to approach the "presidency" to ask for something I just was not sure what it was because I did not see that part. These two guys in costume are called the Alguacilillos.

even the guys who clean the arena after every bout are part of the paseillo :)

The event will officially start once the the first bull comes out of the gate where the bulls are kept.
This is the very first bull that came out. I thought he looked like a cow because he was a bit pale. Oh and they have names :) This one is Huelvano:

One bout apparently has 3 parts or so I've noticed and this 3 part thing is called the tercios and you will know that every tercio has started/ended because music plays.

And so, for the first tercio of the fist corrida, I was really confused because there were more than 1 torreros in arena. Each one had a capote of the colors pink and yellow. pink front and yellow back.....Because I thought torreros used red.... apparently, the main torrero for this bout is the first one who "plays" with the bull. I say play because this is I think, the part where the torrero studies the movements of the bull. Then the others are there to distract the bull. Here's a short video of this part. 

And then the band plays some kind of signal and in comes the two guys on horse back with blind folded horses. This I believe is done to that the horses will not run away when the bull charges at him. The guys on horseback are called picadores and they have a lance with them to stick unto the bull shallowly,

And then comes a banderillero or the guys who distract the bull.

And then after the music plays again a signal, it's time for the banderilleros to stick some darts or the banderillas on the bulls back. I think this is a strategy to weaken the bull. This part is called La Suerte de Baderillas.
...and now it's time for the main torrero to do his beautiful job of playing with the bull or what they call a faena. This is the part where he has to show his skills and grace and ofcourse, how he can handle the bull or what I call "his relationship with the bull"...and this time, with a red capote which is not called a capote but rather, a muleta. So many words right? haha! don't be confused. The muleta is the red "rag"/cape. what I loved most about this sport is the movements of the torreros. The stances and the wave of their capes. It was so graceful I wanted to cry, haha! This last tercio is called the suerte suprema.

Then later, the torrero get's a sharp sword in place of this blunt sword and plays with the bull a little and then later, he aims at the bull's back....
...and then plunges the sword unto the bull's back.... it has a precise spot for the the sword to go deep. if not, the sword will stick out.
the act of killing the bull is called torrear. There are 3 bouts or 3 corridas, so 3 torreros who have to torrear 2 bulls each. So 6 torros all in all.

The bull slowly dies but a banderillero will hasten this death by stabbing the bulls head. and then the bull's body will be pulled away by horses to be kept but I don't know where they put the bull's body.

The torrero I just featured is Serafin Marin and he is from Barcelona.

The next fighter was David Mora, from Madrid :) He is the special fighter for this day. You'll find out why as you read on.
I'm not putting a very detailed account of David Mora's corrida because I've already written a detailed corrida of Serafin Marin's. The pictures of David Mora's corrida will just be the highlights, r the pictures I found interesting like for example, this picture of a banderillero who just stuck banderillas on Indiano (bull #2)'s back. Indiano ran after him :)

Here's an epic shot of a banderillero jumping before piercing the bull
Here comes David Mora for his suerte suprema...
Look at that beautiful stance!

Here is the stabbing of the bull's head. This is the part that I hate most. And of course the part when the bull is gasping and holding on to dear life.
And because the crowd was more than satisfied with his performance, after his corrida, the people waved white hankies. This means that they loved the bout and if majority of the people wave hankies, the torrero will get a prize.

...his prize was the bull's ears. yes that is like a trophy for them.
And now for my favorite torrero...Alfonso Oliva Soto or simply Oliva Soto. He is from Sevilla and he was born in 13 October 1987 which means he is just 3 months older than I am. But that is not the reason why I like him. I like Oliva Soto because he smiles a lot and for his age, it is pretty impressing that he chose the path of the torreros.
Oh I took a picture of this not for the bandirillero but for the horse poop in the background :) I think the horse was so scared (who would not be when you can smell trouble and yet you can't see because you're blindfolded).

His facial expressions were amazing!
This is the movement of the fabric that I tried so much to capture. I have more but I took so much pictures I am even lucky I found this one in my memory card :)
Torro contra Torrero (Bull vs. Bullfighter)
I posted this picture because of the posture of Oliva Soto.
...This too... Que bonita su postura! (how beautiful his posture!)
But sadly he was not able to stab the bull so well and there were a lot of booing and I was heartbroken for him...

After the 3 torreros, the cycle will repeat. Serafin Marin then David Mora and then Oliva Sotto again. I did not have much epic shots from Serafin Marin and David Mora's 2nd corrida but I am going to post pictures of the 2nd corrida of Oliva Sotto, again, not because I like him but because he was able to redeem himself in this corrida

This is what I like about him. He smiles a lot in between corridas.

Very impressive this time around...

But here's the tricky part. Look at the passion in his face! Most torreros have that face during corridas...Some might think it's ugly but I think it's wonderful.
Here's a shot of his stabbing his 2nd bull....but again he was not able to plunge the sword very well, but much better than his first bull...but then...
But I am so glad he's ok...
...and still managed to smile :)
And so the corrida ended with the torreros waving as they excited the arena...

And here's a photo of the station where i get off from to get to The Plaza de Los Torros

This truly was an amazing experience for me...Yes it is very brutal and morbid and bloody, but it is an art. I just feel sorry for the bulls...and ofcourse I do not like that part either... It is the movements and the costume and the arena (which was very Spanish) which I loved most. The facial expressions, the posture... i cannot say anything more. It was amazing.

I hope you learned something about the Corrida De Los Torros and I also hope I have opened your eyes to the beauty of this tradition. It is like the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. It's either you like it or you don't. The Corrida can have mixed opinions because of it's "cruelty to animals". But I think butchering beef for our consumption is more brutal. We just don't see how it is done that's why we don't consider it cruel...But I think it's the same. That's just my opinion. Everyone has their own opinion so let's respect each other's thoughts.

Well, I cannot say good night to Madrid because it is still afternoon here. I posted this late, I think you understand why. So, instead, I shall say Hasta Pronto! (See you soon!)

1 Response to "Day 45: Bullfight or Corridas De Los Torros"

  1. Anonymous Says:
    May 25, 2012 at 9:18 AM

    hola mimi. he encontrado tu blog por google porque estaba buscando cosas de las corridas. me encanta como escbribiste tu día en las ventas. he aprendido tanto mientras leyéndolo. muchas gracias.

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