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“The bravest of the artistic bullfighters, and the most artistic of the brave bullfighters” | The bull, by the horns | Culture

by News Room
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Why Morante? is the title of an essay that Paco Aguado, a journalist and bullfighting critic from Madrid, published in 2011 about the Sevillian bullfighter following an afternoon at the Bilbao fair, to which he added in parentheses before and now to review, expand and edit the text in light of the bullfighter’s triumphs in recent years, culminating with the two ears and the tail that he paraded in La Maestranza during the last April Fair.

“Why Morante? Because he is an absolutely necessary bullfighter in strange times in which bullfighting is taking worrying paths,” explains Aguado.

And he says more: “He is the bravest of the artistic bullfighters, and the most artistic of the brave; Morante is the most transcendent bullfighter artist of recent decades.”

“To fight like Morante does,” the author continues, “so slowly and with the bulls passing so close, you must have maximum courage; There is a value for fighting, another for facing tough bulls, but the supreme value is to slow down the bullfighting and dominate the bull millimeters from the bag.”

“It is not necessary to talk to Morante; Has anyone spoken to Mozart or Beethoven? You have to feel Morante”

The book is not a typical biography, but an attempt to decipher the human and artistic keys to the bullfighting of Morante de la Puebla “with a clarifying effort on the importance of a bullfighter who suffered a certain lack of understanding, and whose extensive list of nuances and Its content went unnoticed even by very prominent fans,” according to the text published earlier this year by the publishing house El Paseíllo.

Aguado also maintains that the book is not morantist. “That’s how it is; “It is an analysis of a way of bullfighting that, in my opinion, should remain because it has been the essence of bullfighting for years, and that must be defended in complicated times like these.”

The author clarifies that he has only spoken with the bullfighter three or four times and never in depth. “There is no need to talk to Morante” he points out; “Did anyone talk to Mozart or Beethoven? Just watching him bullfight is enough, because he gets naked every time he bullfights, and brings out everything he has inside, experiences, sadness and joy; You have to feel Morante, he represents bullfighting at its best.”

Ask. What does a bullfighter like Morante contribute to today’s society?

Answer. “Authenticity. He is one of the great artists of our time compared to anyone from other activities. Bullfighting is like music and generates direct visceral reactions, deep emotions.”

Morante, natural before an Alcurrucén bull on June 1, 2022 in Las Ventas.Alfredo Arevalo

Aguado is convinced that Morante “is the fusion of many bullfighters.” “He is obsessed with Joselito el Gallo,” he says, “but the bullfighting that we saw two San Miguel fairs in Seville ago, torn and abandoned, was pure Belmontism, there was no science or intelligence, only passion.”

Aguado argues that Morante learned to fight in the street, and has matured with the contributions of many people, and thanks to his great love for the history of bullfighting.

“Morante is not a scholar, but he likes to investigate sources, he is a lover of old photography, and he has a great bullfighting culture,” the author continues. “He knows how to fight for many bullfighters, he has assumed many forms of bullfighting; He even did the frog leap at a festival in Murcia and he did it perfectly. He knows the history of the bullfighters of Seville, and has been creating his own universe. In short, Morante has in his head and heart a very broad idea of ​​bullfighting, it is a compendium of many others.”

“Morante is anti-system, and has not been accommodating with certain sectors of Seville, which has allowed him to be viewed with a certain amount of suspicion”

And, in addition, he has, in Aguado’s opinion, a prodigious technique.

“We talk about good technique; When it is said that a bullfighter is very technical, I get angry. The bull has to see the technique and not the spectator. When you listen to a symphony you are not paying attention to the technique, but to the feeling it produces in you. The most technical bullfighters that I have known are Morante, Diego Urdiales and José Tomás. When they bullfight you are seeing their delivery, their expression, and they use the technique to convey everything they have to tell and not to sell it. Getting complicated bulls to charge requires extraordinary precision. These types of bullfighters make the bulls look better than they are. Therein lies his mastery of technique.”

In the book, Paco Aguado reviews different stages in the bullfighter’s artistic career, and concludes that “Morante has not always done what he wanted, and on many occasions he has submitted to the system, and Morante has been the worst because he has lacked enthusiasm.” . The most authentic artist arrives when he abandons the manager Matilla and allies himself with his friend Pedro Jorge Marques, which happens at the 2021 San Isidro Fair that was held in the Plaza de Vistalegre in Madrid.

“You bullfight as you are and you bullfight as you are,” Aguado emphasizes to justify the different phases of Morante’s career, “an artist very sensitive to the influences that arise around him, who has suffered psychological fights with himself.”

And Seville.

Aguado emphasizes, finally, the strange relationship that Seville has had with the bullfighter from La Puebla.

“Morante is an anti-system,” he says; “He lives his own life, on the margins of Seville, he has not been a complacent bullfighter with certain sectors of the city, the most clichéd and moth-eaten, and that attitude has allowed him to be seen with a certain distance and suspicion.”

Aguado remembers that he took the alternative in Burgos and not in La Maestranza, and he has not been forgiven “like others” for taking a long time to renew his laurels in this square after his departure through the Puerta del Príncipe in 1999.

Morante de la Puebla returns this Easter Sunday to Seville, and a ‘no tickets’ sign will remind that the fans are waiting for the bullfighter to answer again the question in Aguado’s book: Why Morante…

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