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Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Terceira, Bull Fight Angra,Azores 20 June 2010
1830 hrs 20 June we were at the Praca de Torros ready for the bullfight - our first for many years. We treated ourselves to seats in the best sector - the Sombra (shade) rather than Sol (sun) or Sol/Sombra. Terceira is one of the few Azores Islands where the spectacle is still enthousiastically pursued.
The evening's programme included 3 bulls to be fought on horseback by a mainland Portuguese Toreador, Luis Rouxinol - with the bull finally subdued by the usual Portuguese line up of young daredevils.
Once subdued , the bulls were encouraged to leave the ring with capes and flags (unlike in Portugal where a herd of cows is brought in the ring to calm the bull down and lead out of the ring).
The other 3 bulls were fought by a Spanish Matador, Miguel Angel Perera , Spanish style but without the gruesome Picador and without killing the bull by sword in the ring.
Before the bull enters the ring, its weight (in kilos) and number are displayed on a board. After entering the ring , the bull is played with with pink/ yellow capes. All bulls came from the Rego Botelho ranch.
The Toreador displayed superb horsemanship, keeping the bull very close sometimes even galloping sidestep just ahead of the bull.
Please click on arrow at bottom left to start video clip of opening circuit
However, he disappointed the crowd with several misplaced banderilleros (barbed darts) and after one fight was not given the usual round of honour.
Please click on arrow at bottom left to start video clip of bullfight on horseback
The Portuguese style line-up was amazing to watch. The bull is led to one side of the ring with capes, while a line up facing the bull is formed on the opposite side of the ring.
The head guy then dons his funny red/green hat and, with halting steps, approaches the bull making Ugh Ugh sounds with hands on hips. At a certain moment, the bull gets irritated by this and charges. The head man then leaps between the horns of the bull and is carried by the bull to his waiting colleagues who try to slow the bull down. Once the bull has been stopped, one of the guys grabs the tail. The bull tries to gore the guy who is just out of reach. After several circles the bull sometimes falls on the ground and the fight is over.
Please click on arrow at bottom left to start video clip of Portuguese style bullfight nr 1
Please click on arrow at bottom left to start video clip of Portuguese style bullfight nr 2
Please click on arrow at bottom left to start video clip of appreciation of bravery
The Spanish Matador was very good and played the bull with the cape in fine style keeping the bull close to his body most of the time and keeping the bull fluidly in motion. The crowd were very appreciative of his skillful performance.
Please click on arrow at bottom left to start video clip of Spanish style bullfight
It is traditional for flowers and clothing to be thrown by the crowds at the performers in appreciation and sometimes, the matador is given a lap of honour.