After two bull-less days, the second part started on March 16 with a novillada with picadores and novillos from El Pilar for Jordi Pérez “El Niño de la Monjas”, Alvaro Alarcón and Manuel Perera. Strong gusts of wind beat down on the plaza and black clouds threatened rain, terrible circumstances for a bullfight. Still, enough people had come to fill a quarter of the arena and watch the novillada. Jordi’s first novillo weighed 476 kilos and was welcomed by two passes on the knees and  a series of fine Veronicas. But “Alambrisco” jumped and stabbed at the cape and stumbled when he attacked the picador. The wind and the condition of the bull influenced the faena but the novillero used left- and right handed passes to circle the animal for which he was applauded. A good kill completed his work and one ear was his reward. The fourth bull was a novillo bravo of 484 kilos. Although the lance of the picador almost left him unscathed, he was prepared well by the novillero’s excellent banderilleros. In the faena that followed it was obvious how much the young Valencian’s toreo had improved after almost two years of inactivity. In spite of the strong winds his passes were a delight to watch and this handling of the muleta and his knowledge of distances and terraines was surprising. The sword went in straight and disappeared almost to the hilt earning him an ear. El Niño de las Monjas had opened the main gate. 

The novillo that awaited Alfonso Alarcón was a good looking beast of 519 kilo’s. He chopped at the capote and was obviously too much bull for the novice novillero. But to everyone’s surprise the animal rolled over at the first encounter with the picador and then rolled over again with his legs kicking the air. The black and white cabestros led him out and the substitute bull was welcomed with a series of flowing Veronicas. Young Alarcón started his faena with a series of fine passes with the right hand. It went well but the boy lost his concentration for one second and got knocked over. A well placed sword still got him the ear. His second novillo was born a toro bravo but had long since forgotten he was. Most of the time he stood looking at the torero wondering what he was doing there and what the thing was they were waving at him and why he was expected to charge it. A half sword ended his wondering and Alvaro walked a triumphant lap of honor.

Manuel Perera started his faena with passes on his knees (he is managed by Juan José Padilla) and dedicated the death of his bull to “El Soro» whose 40th anniversary was being celebrated with photo exhibitions, documentaries and other festivities around the bullring and in the town. The brindis over, the novillero started with left- and right hand passes to a bull that was reluctant to charge. After some series of passes, the sword first hit bone then slid in at the side. As it was for so many novice bullfighters, it was Perera’s first time since the beginning of the pandemia to perform for a large audience. So it forgave him his faults knowing that he would get a second opportunity with a novillo that was waiting for him in its corral. 

At the sound of the bugle Manuel Perera walked over to the toril gate and knelt down in front of it. The bull trotted out, turned left and without paying any notice to the novillero on the ground, ran around the ring in two full circles with the cuadrilla sprinting after him. When they finally caught up with the elusive animal and caught its attention, three more kneeling passes in the middle of the arena were followed by some Veronicas. But this wás a toro bravo, one that charged uncontrollably at everything that was offered to him. The bull clearly proved too much for the young torero who got knocked down several times, had his blue and gold jacket ripped to shreds and was knocked down again. “An accident prone novillero” I called him in my prequel, but the estocada following his unfortunate performance, deserved him the ear if only for his courage and perseverance. 

A jubilant Niño de las Monjas left the ring on shoulders. The others left on foot.

Cronica de Pieter Hildering

Fotografias de Mateo de