Monday, October 06, 2014

Starting Somewhere: A Novillada

The day will come, if you go to bullfight-school, when you will be called upon to strut your stuff. It will be an expensive exercise, paying for rent on the bullring, paying for your cuadrilla (your crew), their crew, then paying for the hotel, transport, costumes, insurance and... a bull. So, better make it work!
On Sunday, I joined some Spanish friends at the Roquetas de Mar bullring to see a group of young novilleros, junior bullfighters, in a free entertainment for the public. Eight young men from the Escuelas Taurinas de Granada, Córdoba, Atarfe, Jaén, Puerto de Santa María and Almería (who knew there were so many schools?). On Friday and Saturday, there were apparently three more similar sessions with each young man (one was just 14 and he looked it - I saw him in the stands) fighting one bull each. One chance - that's bullfighting! Across the three days, there would have been 32 brave or foolhardy young fellows presenting themselves to the public for the very first time.

Having arrived late - the novillada started at 11.30am - I only saw five on the day. Three earned themselves two ears apiece from an indulgent crowd and the other two had some problems - one, who tried his hand as a picador as well as a toreador (the word doesn't exist), was tossed by the bull on both exercises. Indeed, poor chap spent more time lying on the sand with his arms over his head that standing upon it. Nevertheless, a couple of the bullfighters showed great promise. It's good to know that la corrida has a future in the hands of these confident and brave young men.
There is a growing group of people who consider bullfighting to be an anachronism and evil. They are known as anti-taurinos. They wouldn't have enjoyed the spectacle in Roquetas over the weekend, but at least they stayed away from the gates this time.

1 comment:

sp said...

Which century was this?