September 8, 2006

Bullfight World
By Lyn Sherwood

Mexican Legend Silverio Perez Passes Away at 91

The bullfight world is in mourning, due to the death, Aug. 27, of Silverio Pérez, 91, one of the true legends of Mexican bullfight history. Suffering pneumonia, Pérez died at his Pentecostes ranch, near Mexico City. Born June 20, 1915, he began his career in 1931, following the death, by a bull, of his brother, Cármelo, in Spain. Silverio was considered one of the primary stars of that which has been labeled “The Golden Age” of Mexican bullfighting.

Mexican newspaper El Universal described Silverio’s style of toreo as ”seductive, while carrying out one of the world’s most difficult tasks”. Mexican songwriter and singer Agustin Lara wrote the pasodoble, ”Silverio”, which has become a standard in Mexican plazas de toros. Pérez retired from bullfighting in 1953, but still frequently performed in charity festivals. Thousands of Mexican aficionados paid homage to Silverio, Aug. 28, in La Plaza Mexico. His ashes were then enshrined in the Basilica de la Virgin Guadalupe.

Silverio Pérez. QEPD

Amazing Day For El Zotoluco in Tijuana

Braving hot, muggy weather, some 12,000 aficionados turned out, last Sunday, in José López Hurtado’s “Beautiful Bullring by The Sea” to witness an excellent herd of bulls from Marron, given lídias by matadors Eulalio López ”El Zotoluco”, Juan Antonio Adame, and the Tijuana debut of Arturo Macias. The review, as always, was provided by Gary Sloan.

With his first animal, “Joyero” (475 kilos), El Zotoluco opened with veronicas and a nice media veronica. Joyero proved brave against the horse, insisting, twice, and wanted more. But, the matador requested that the act be changed. He then performed a nice set of chicuelinas, climaxed with a rebolera.

His work in the third act was very good, with Lalo giving strong series to both sides. Unfortunately, bad luck with the sword cost him any awards. When his second bull, “Orfebre” (490 kilos) blasted out of the gate, I was reminded of Ray Bradbury’s poem, “Something Wicked This Way Comes”. This was a ferocious, wicked bull.

El Zotoluco greeted Orfebre with veronicas, finishing the set with a fine media veronica. The bull proved exceptionally brave against the picador. The matador’s faena was sensational, with López smoothing out this furious, savage beast with a performance of great beauty, dominance, and temple. He worked very well on both sides, especially the left. When it came time for the kill, his sword placement was perfect and effective, with Orfebre dispatched with patas arriba. A well deserved pair of ears was a-warded for this, the performance of the day.

With his first bull, “Plateado (487 kilos), Juan Antonio Adame opened with veronicas and a rebolera. In the second act, the matador placed three pair of banderillas, in grand fashion.

The faena that followed was good. It wasn’t exactly artistic, but was at least competent. Following a good sword placement, one ear was awarded. Then, with his second toro, “Artista” (460 kilos), Adame was just average with the capote. Following the pic’ing, he again placed banderillas, but in very average style. His faena seemed unplanned and disjointed. He placed a good sword, but was awarded only a turn of the ring.

Fasten your seat belts; he comes Arturo Macias! The Tijuana newcomer who bears a strong resemblance to actor Tom Cruise, initiated his work with some hair-raising, tremendistic, kneeling veronicas. Arturo managed to get his pants (taleguilla) almost torn off.

His faena was a crowd pleasing effort, but it contained little in the way of artistry. After two missed swords, it was over, and Macias was applauded for his outrageous bravery.

With his second bull, “Artifice” (480 kilos), he again opened with kneeling capotazos that nearly resulted in disaster. Following the pic’ing, Macias attempted gaoneras, but the bull cut inside, on the last one, the horn going between the torero’s legs and tossing him. No damage done. I described his faena with one word: suicidal. It wasn’t pretty; it wasn’t correct, but it certainly put the crowd into an uproar. Finally, the inevitable happened.

He was caught and tossed, twice, with the toro pummeling him, severely, on the ground. The subalterns finally rescued the matador and carried his limp form toward the infirmary. But, as could be expected from toreros who have more courage than experience, Macias fought off his assistants, hobbled back out into the ring, grabbed the muleta, and threw himself into the bull’s face.

By this time, the crowd was in an uproar. Most Tijuana bullfight fans (notice, I didn’t say “aficionados”, for that title requires some knowledge) enjoy this type of kamikaze spectacle. They threw hundreds of cushions into the rung, in an ignorant, but appreciative display for the type of foolishness that was demonstrated by Macias. At the end, for whatever reason, two ears were awarded. Some of the crowd even wanted the tail to be cut, but Plaza Judge José Luis Carraso very correctly refused to grant it.

Ah, Tijuana.

So, in my opinion, it was a very good afternoon, with lots of thrills and some beautiful work by El Zotoluco.

Return to the Frontpage