Barcelona Skyline

Friday, 17 April 2009

Bullfighting and Jose Tomas in Barcelona

If bullfighting isn´t exactly your cup of tea you won´t be alone in Barcelona. In fact, there´s a strong movement to ban "the Spanish national fiesta" altogether throughout Catalunya and the city of Barcelona has passed a non-binding resolution declaring itself an "anti-bullfighting city".

But if you are an aficionado or are just a little curious the season starts April 19 and goes through the 20th of September. For as little as 18 Eur you can cook and sweat in the sun at the Novilladas: these feature young, unknown bullfighters who try to impress in hopes that established bullfighters will take them on as aprentices. Or for 125 Eur you can sit up close and personal and in the shade at a Corrida which features some of the best matadores anywhere.

And if you want to see the best of the best be in Barcelona July 5 for living legend Jose Tomas. Compared to Manolete and the other immortals of the rink, Jose Tomas retired in 2002 and left bullfighting bereft of its greatest star, orphaned and in decadence. Unlike many bullfighters who crave attention and spend as much time in the gossip pages as in the rink, Jose Tomas sought privacy. There were periodic Jose Tomas sightings a la Elvis Presley and rumors circulated that he was secretly training in some obscure Spanish village to make his triumphal return. And in 2007, after five years of voluntary exile, "the Spanish god" finally did come back. And he chose Barcelona--famous for its hostility to bullfighting--for his "second coming". Jose Tomas has an almost fanatical following among the purists and has always been the intellectual´s bullfighter. His pure, unadorned classical style is the complete opposite of the "circus style"; he is slow, austere, and dangerous. He gets much closer to the bull and has a penchant for getting himself gored. So July 5 will be quite a show. If you are interested get yout tickets now.

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