Friday, July 24, 2009

Flamenco and Bulls

We decided to go all out in our Spanish style - the ladies hit the town for a flamenco show and Kirk followed by attending a Thursday night bull fight. It was such a treat to get out in the night and do something! Usually we are hulled up in a dark hotel room listening to Connor's snores. Having Brooke with us opened up many possibilities to live up the night life.
Brooke and I went to Los Gallos for a flirty flamenco performance. We got there early for front row seats. The hand-clapping (palmas) and the castanets were truly incredible. I knew I would get into the dancing and the ruffled costumes - which indeed were spectacular. What surprised me was how moving the guitarists and the singers were. Brooke had me in stitches as she tried to interpret some of the Spanish words amidst the overwhelming vibrato.I knew we were in for a treat when I sat down and the floor was worn like this. The stomping feet are like gunshots in their stirring staccato.We weren't allowed photos during the show, but Brooke captured this video undercover. Enjoy! It gives you a taste of the performance.
video
While we were twirling and stomping to the flamenco rhythm, Kirk was readying for the Spanish bull fight....

I learned a lot more than I want to know about bull fighting this trip. Did you know they kill the bull at the end?!?! Yuck. Kirk's bullfight was 6 matadors and 6 bulls. I cringe just to think of the gore. Kirk relays that each matador was not alone in the ring but had these "clowns" to help distract the bull from time to time.For those who were particularly wonderful I guess the "prize" is the bull's ear which they parade around the ring. Again, yuck. Who thought these things up?The "art" of bullfighting is lost on me. Makes American football seem pretty darn tame. Yet it is easy to sense how central and important the sport is in Spain. It is a part of that "soul" Seville exudes. Brooke told us all about the care and detail that goes into readying each matador for the fight. There are tights and eyelet buttons that must be fastened individually and ceremoniously. I look at Kirk's photos though from the bull fight and cannot imagine these teenagers putting themselves in front of a mean bull, no matter how much decoration they wear. Kirk said that one matador was hit in the performance he saw. He went skull to skull with the bull. I could tell Kirk was shaken as the matador was taken from the ring unconscious; he feared he may have died. Luckily we looked it up on the internet a couple of days later and the news was he was okay --- just a concussion.

I found this photo on our camera following the bull fight - which STARTED at 10 PM so wasn't over til 12:30 AM. Hmmm. Is this a Spanish lady of the night? Looks a little sketchy to me.

Kirk's Edit: Hey! She just got in the way of the night pictures I was trying to take of the cathedral!
Fortunately, I wasn't snapping pictures when the bull got the best of the novadilla (young bullfighter), but here are a couple articles with pictures:

El Mundo

Diario de Sevilla

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