“Young people return to the bullrings, the forbidden attracts”


Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
01 April 2024 Monday 04:23
9 Reads
“Young people return to the bullrings, the forbidden attracts”


¿Raro, eh?

In Catalonia, bullfighting is prohibited.

The forbidden is always attractive, and now many young people are returning to the bullrings.

Oh yeah? To which bullrings?

Ceret, Nimes, Vinaròs, Zaragoza, Castelló, Teruel... They find it exciting.

Many people came to the Monumental.

Beautiful historical monument of Barcelona.

How did you start bullfighting?

My father took me to the bulls when I was 13: color, smells, sounds... a sensory experience! I attended a spectacle of purity, authenticity and truth.

He poetizes it.

I speak of the unappealable truth: death. The bullfighter risks dying. It is unique.

And anachronistic.

The arena is assertive: it is lived. Life becomes great at the risk of losing it.

I prefer not to risk it.

The bullfighter lives by being able to die. Orson Welles nailed it: “The bullfighter is an actor to whom real things happen.”

And all that made him a bullfighter?

I wanted to be one to be a better fan.

Was necessary?

I wanted to know what it feels like down there. And I was a bullfighter, between 17 and 22 years old.

Stage prior to being a bullfighter?

Yes. He trained with others, crutch and cape. The first thing to learn to be a bullfighter is… play a bull.

Play a bull?

Yes, with some bull horns: you charge and learn to do it according to the reactions of the bulls of the different settings.

How do they vary?

In everything: size, weight, pythons, fur, movements...

Have you been afraid of the bull?

There are bulls that look at you, not at the muleta: that's scary!

What does bullfighting consist of?

In staying still in front of the bull.

Yes, man.

You overcome the instinct to run. That's it, without more. Think in front of the bull's face.

Think what?

In being imperceptible: the bull attacks the movement. That is why Juan Belmonte has been the best of all bullfighters.


He discovered the blind spot. Everyone was fighting outside, but he... stood in front of the bull's face, still.

You have to despise life a lot or be very brave.

He made the bull pass by him. This is called “charging your luck.”

Sounds like a gamble to me.

That's where the excitement came from. Today it's hard to see...

Does any bullfighter look like you today?

José Tomás: he stays more still than any other bullfighter. Brave! José Tomás has re-dignified the job of bullfighter.

In what sense?

It has not been televised on major occasions. “Come to the plaza,” she is telling us. José Tomás has been the last great idol of the Barcelona fans.

What is the most important thing when bullfighting?

The good bullfighter is slow and artistic and knows how to stop, temper and command.

And, as I told myself, carry luck.

It is to command. Temper: let the bull not touch the deception, the crutch. Stop: see the bull coming. He first made Waste.


Called that or also “Señor Manuel, el Bravo”. In 1832 he was fleeing a crime and sailed from Cádiz to Montevideo, and spent 16 consecutive years in Uruguay and Argentina...

And what about his nickname Waste?

The bull Barabís, in the plaza of El Puerto de Santa María, emptied his eye socket and the eye was left hanging and he said “get out of the waste” and tore it out.

Bravo yes it was.

He was brave, brave, obstinate, exquisite, amoral and obese. They operated on him without anesthesia. The priest said: “He will die.” He replied: “My work is not finished.” He fought again. And he fought with Indians in the Rio Grande War. And he was a black and gaucho mayoral. And, back, he used the bocadoras.

The gauchos' shuttle balls?

This is how he knocked down a bull that had gotten out of control in a plaza.

And you, until when did you bullfight?

I was a novillero, that is, a novice, I did not dress in lights: I lacked the courage to leave everything for the bull, for that priesthood.

Do you compare the bullfighter with the priest?

I stayed in misacantano, I did not get ordained. I continue studying bullfighting but I don't trade, although I give muletazos in some bullfights.

How do you see the bullfighting festival?

As tradition, culture, knowledge and tolerance intertwined in the purest and most authentic, unique show.