28 November 2012

Uriel Moreno

Plaza de Toros Oriente on 16 September 2012 at 7:00:27 p.m.

I have decided to add some comment here. The internet is full of photos of the beautiful cape work of matadors, but there are not many photos of the killing of the bull. At that point the matador is not using a big cape but rather a red serge muleta.

A matador has many tricks available during the passes with the cape to make it appear that he is closer to the bull than he is and that he is in more danger than he really is. There are no tricks available to the matador in the extremely dangerous job of killing the bull. The matador either does it right or he does not. If he does not do it right, that is quite obvious to everyone.

This is done in one of three ways. The first way is from the old days and is called recibiendo. In killing the bull recibiendo, the matador stands still and provokes the bull to charge with the muleta. The bull then literally runs into the blade as the matador brings the bull's head down and by his body with the muleta. A classic recibiendo during which the matador stands perfectly flat footed and still is not often done anymore. It is extremely dangerous.

The second method is volapie. In this case the bull remains standing still. The matador trots to the bull, lowers the bulls head with the distraction of the muleta, and goes in over the horns to place the blade.

The third method is a un tiempo. Here, the man moves toward the bull and the bull charges the man at the same time. They meet in the middle. The bull's head is lowered with the distraction of the muleta in the left hand. The man goes over the horns to place the blade with his right hand.

I do not intend to write an essay on this. I am not expert enough to do so. There are a couple of additional things that must be added, however. Those who are expert tell us that the killing is done with the left hand, not the right. This is because the movement of that muleta down and across the matador's body at the same time that he is placing the blade with his right hand is critical. The movement of the left hand with the muleta must be done well to make it possible for the right hand to do its job as well as to get the bulls horns past the matador's body while the right hand does it job. I have heard this described as akin to patting your head and rubbing your stomach at the same time. It is difficult to say the least. When it is done well, it is all one continuous flowing movement and happens very fast.

In the photo above Uriel Moreno set up for his version of a un tiempo, which looks like a classic recibiendo. You can see that the bull has charged. He is standing still waiting for it. It is not a classic recibiendo because he moves toward the bull at the last second. Actually, it did not come off here. He brought the bull by without even attempting to place the blade. He then later killed this bull volapie.

You can see a crop-out from this photo isolating Uriel by clicking here.

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