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Home Culture Ponce makes a fiery defense of modern bullfighting in a friendly gathering with the most demanding fans of Las Ventas | The bull, by the horns | Culture

Ponce makes a fiery defense of modern bullfighting in a friendly gathering with the most demanding fans of Las Ventas | The bull, by the horns | Culture

by News Room
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“Today’s bull is the bravest in history. What is not itchy today? I disagree. Bravery must be measured by the intensity of the punch and not by the number of times the animal goes to the breastplate. Today bullfighting is tighter than ever, what is done to bulls has not been done in the entire history of bullfighting. We live in a time in which bullfighting is done very well, with exquisite taste, and one fights against the largest and most chaste bull of all time.” Enrique Ponce responded with such emphaticity to a fan who asked him if he is the creator of a school in which technique takes precedence over other concepts of bullfighting and that detracts from the excitement of the current show.

That was the only time that Enrique Ponce felt truly questioned during a gathering organized by the El Toro Association of Madrid to which the Valencian bullfighter appeared dressed in black and with a worried face, and came out smiling and happy because The usual members of the demanding line 7 of Las Ventas were not as ‘fierce’ as they appear in the square.

In fact, before the discussion got lively, Ponce got up from his seat and explained to the many fans in attendance his conception of modern bullfighting, moving his hands as if they were holding a crutch to explain that it is more risky to bullfight with the python than to do it. crossed to the opposing python. “I speak from my experience of having fought more than 5,000 bulls,” he added, “and at worst I say nonsense, but I am tired of absurd clichés.”

“The gorings that I have suffered have been inflicted on me by bulls of Domecq origin, those that we believe do not catch”

He spoke a lot and well about the Las Ventas plaza (“it is among the three or four most important in my career,” he stated), he praised the attitude of line 7 (“if it weren’t for you, there would be no respect or rigor, but also “You have to differentiate the latter from the extreme demand”), and said that since he debuted with Picadores at the age of 16 he has always felt loved, respected “and also demanded” by the Madrid fans. “I have noticed the hardness and dedication of this square,” he added.

While Enrique Ponce continued standing, relaxed and comfortable, in front of the presidential table, in the pleasant task of teaching a practical class on bullfighting theory, he said that it is very difficult to bullfight at medium height, although he prefers to do it low, “coupling to the charge of each bull.”

And so, with the public in favor, with the mastery of the scene that his experience and knowledge allows him, he defined his concept of bullfighting: “I have tried to leave the mark that I could with sincerity and humility; I have broken records, but those are just numbers; What I have always sought is perfection, to bullfight as I dream, knowing that it is very difficult, perhaps impossible, but that concern is what has kept me in the profession for so many years.” “I have been concerned about finding the rhythm, the aesthetics, bullfighting with pleasure and feeling what I do,” he stated.

And regarding his virtues as a bullfighter, he added that he has been in permanent evolution. “I have sought purity,” he said, “but I have not needed a suitable bull to succeed; Rather, I have performed tasks of different types on very diverse bulls.”

Enrique Ponce, on shoulders in Las Ventas on June 2, 2017.Javier Lizon (EFE)

He based his statement on the fact that he has fought bulls of very different breeds: Cuadri, Murteira, Victorino, Samuel Flores…, although “the gorings that I have suffered have been inflicted on me by bulls of Domecq origin,” he clarified, “those that we believe do not catch.” . “The so-called bull of figures is hard-wired and not easy, it just offers more guarantees for victory,” he added.

Once the bullfighting class was finished at half height and the difference between quoting the python thread or the cross, Enrique Ponce pointed out that there were intense negotiations to advertise on the posters with José Tomás, but that the agreement was not possible due to “issues of dispatch”. “I tried on several occasions,” he insisted, “but there were unacceptable conditions; “I wasn’t going to earn less than him, for example.”

He categorically denied that he had vetoed any of his colleagues throughout his career (“I haven’t felt vetoed either,” he said), he agreed that figures must be required to carry out some feat (“they have to be psyched up to do them.” “), and described it as “a personal obligation” to deal with 16 bullfights in 2020, the year of the pandemic, so that the party would remain alive. “In none of them did I know what I was going to win,” he said, “and in most of them I fought about the expenses, but I did it with pride.”

“I tried to fight with José Tomás several times, but there were unacceptable conditions; “I wasn’t going to charge less than him, for example.”

He said at another time that he is not pessimistic about the moment the bullfight is going through. “I trust that as long as there is a bull and a bullfighter they will not be able to defeat us,” he said. He referred to the attacks by anti-bullfighting people and politicians (“and the latter scare me more, especially the nonsense of the Minister of Culture, because no one has to define what is culture and what is not”), and highlighted that “we are more fans than anti-bullfighting, and we must hold our heads high because bullfighting is going to be eternal.”

There were no questions about the reasons for his retirement in June 2021, nor the reasons that explain his return to the ring on May 17 in the Place de Nimes. It was a friendly gathering, inappropriate for demanding and noisy fans in the square who were tamed, in the close presence of a historical figure for 30 years, without a doubt, and, as such, also responsible for some problems that the party suffers.

Fortunately for him, Enrique Ponce’s appearance was a comfortable and more affectionate appearance than he expected; His initial fears were only reflected in his dark clothing and in an initial expression of certain unease.

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