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#91277 - 07/08/12 03:41 AM Madrid: Quick advice on Bullfighting
teachertraveler8 Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 11/20/09
Posts: 373
Loc: Detroit, Michigan
We are in Madrid and thinking about going to the bullfight tonight. I see that there are 3 Novilladas, which I thought were like novices. It starts at 8 pm. Can anyone advice about the difference between Novilladas and "regular" bullfighters? (cost, ability, etc) If I wanted photos of the bullfight, would this be a good place to get them? Also, is it possible to change seats once inside? The photos probably need sun behind them, so I would assume that "sombra" seats closer to the front would be best. (Keep in mind that my "audience" is American school children who aren't experts in bullfighting)


Edited by MadridMan (07/08/12 05:45 AM)
Edit Reason: to include city location in subject

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#91279 - 07/08/12 06:02 AM Re: Madrid: Quick advice on Bullfighting [Re: teachertraveler8]
MadridMan Offline


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Registered: 05/06/00
Posts: 9080
Loc: Madrid, Spain (was Columbus, O...
You've got it. The Novilladas are bullfights of newer, younger, less-experienced bullfighters. The ticket prices are generally about 50% less for these and are easier to get.

You cannot change seats once inside, no. Well, maybe on the last bull or two, if you spy seats *in your own section* which have been empty for awhile you can likely scoot down there without problem. You won't be able to go to a different side of the bullring, however, as they have ticket-checkers at every entry point and bars/fencing dividing the sections (from left to right, not from top to bottom).

Avoid the cheap SOL/sun seats. You'll have direct sun in your eyes for the first bull or two (or three if higher up) and won't see a thing. Today it's going to get up to 90ºF so you'll fry in minutes. All the action happens on the shady side, too, so unless you have a good zoom on your camera - and no sun in your eyes - your photos won't be too good. Check into Tendido 8, Sol y Sombra, middle-to-lower section, where you're not likely to have any sun anyway at 8pm. That's where the action is. These tickets will likely be 20-28 Euros each.

Also, be prepared that the bullring and its seating structure was constructed in 1929 and Spaniards weren't very tall then. I, at just over 6-foot, sometimes have comfort-issues with the back of the person sitting directly in front of me, sometimes I have to straddle one knee on either side of his back to be semi-comfortable.

Final note: rent the seat cushion for, what, 2 Euros each. You'll be glad you did.

Saludos, MadridMan
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#91280 - 07/08/12 12:39 PM Re: Madrid: Quick advice on Bullfighting [Re: MadridMan]
eskimo joe Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/14/07
Posts: 203
Loc: st cyrus , scotland
Another good idea for a photo oportunity, is if your in the plaza at least half an hour before its starts, head round to the patio de caballos, its at tendido 4. You will see the toreros coming in and if they are in a good mood and you ask nicely you can get your photo taken with them, but remember to wish them suerte

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#91393 - 08/02/12 09:01 AM Re: Madrid: Quick advice on Bullfighting [Re: eskimo joe]
Murdy Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 11/14/04
Posts: 314
Loc: Madrid
I agree with what all of you have said and would add just one more bit of advice, especially if it involves taking a group of school children (I don't know what ages we are talking here, but from that word they sound no older than high schoolers), or any group at all which is not familiar with bullfighting, and that is prepare them well for what they are going to see and even discourage those who have doubts from going.

We all know that bullfights often aren't pretty and even at their best are very graphic, and many tourists who go understandably aren't used to that. That's why so many race out after the first or second bull, sometimes in tears. I often ask myself "What were they thinking?", but clearly some people go expecting something else or just haven't been clued in on the hard facts. I almost always give newcomers the lowdown and if I sense any doubts suggest they not bother, because more often than not, they aren't going to like it.

But if they are up for it, by all means, go for it!

I think I'm putting a different slant on the topic, but it came to mind when I read the original question. smile


Edited by Murdy (08/02/12 11:59 AM)
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#91397 - 08/02/12 12:01 PM Re: Madrid: Quick advice on Bullfighting [Re: Murdy]
MadridMan Offline


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Registered: 05/06/00
Posts: 9080
Loc: Madrid, Spain (was Columbus, O...
Speaking of school-aged children and bullfights, they've just introduced a special Children's "Bono"/youth-discount-ticket to help stimulate interest among young persons at Las Ventas Madrid. There's also a new weekend program on RTVE (I believe) television aimed at children called "Quiero Ser Torero"/"I want to be a Bullfighter". I'm not sure if all this has anything to do with the change in political climate in Spain or the waining interest in bullfighting among the young in Madrid or just what, but it's curious, all the same.

Saludos, MadridMan
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#91400 - 08/02/12 12:20 PM Re: Madrid: Quick advice on Bullfighting [Re: MadridMan]
Murdy Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 11/14/04
Posts: 314
Loc: Madrid
No way! That's too much. I remember going to a bullfight with a Spanish friend last year and we were watching as the elderly man entered with what looked like his grandson. And my friend thought it was just the most beautiful moment in the world. Like playing catch with your dad or something like that.

I said to him, "But the kid's eight years old!"

And he said, "So what?" He looked at it as passing a great Spanish tradition on from one generation to the next.

Curious indeed!
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#91401 - 08/02/12 02:28 PM Re: Madrid: Quick advice on Bullfighting [Re: Murdy]
Puna Offline
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Registered: 07/07/00
Posts: 1437
Loc: Charlotte, NC. U.S.A.
"He looked at it as passing a great Spanish tradition on from one generation to the next" .. and rightly so IMHO.

I saw my first bullfight at about age 10 in Mexico and have loved it ever since. Yes, I was somewhat educated in what to expect but from someone who loved it ... and that, I think, is what makes all the difference in the world.
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#91403 - 08/02/12 02:40 PM Re: Madrid: Quick advice on Bullfighting [Re: Puna]
pedmar Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 1445
Loc: Morbihan, France
I have a photo when <i was a boy torero but dont know how to put it here, education is the word, and have someone around to explain it. Then you understand the beauty of it, and tradition, very strong tradition.
Puna my first torero dress I had 4 yrs old love it, my parents gave the picture and its like a treasure.
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#91405 - 08/02/12 06:07 PM Re: Madrid: Quick advice on Bullfighting [Re: pedmar]
Crisco Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/30/09
Posts: 78
In this day and age (2012) and increased awareness of animal cruelty, the wane in interest is very understandable.-we don't go to watch public hangings today!
Kudos to Catalonia for banning them!

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#91406 - 08/02/12 06:45 PM Re: Madrid: Quick advice on Bullfighting [Re: Crisco]
teachertraveler8 Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 11/20/09
Posts: 373
Loc: Detroit, Michigan
I would just like to clarify that when I said my "audience is school age children", I meant that the people who would look at my pictures. I was not intending to take any groups of children into the bullfight. As it turns out, no one in my family wanted to go that night after a busy weekend touring towns around Madrid. I will have to rely on photos of other bullfights to show my students.

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#91407 - 08/03/12 02:32 AM Re: Madrid: Quick advice on Bullfighting [Re: teachertraveler8]
Murdy Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 11/14/04
Posts: 314
Loc: Madrid
LOL! I'd got it all wrong! Now that makes more sense. Thanks for clearing that up!
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#91408 - 08/03/12 11:30 AM Re: Madrid: Quick advice on Bullfighting [Re: Murdy]
eskimo joe Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/14/07
Posts: 203
Loc: st cyrus , scotland
I was taken to my 1st bullfight whenI was 8, and I think i grew up fairly well adjusted.
Some people on here may know im aficionado practico, and because my daughters see me practice it, they like it and want to do it. I have had to buy them thier own capes and monteras. Now my oldest daughter (4years)had been teaching her friends how to bullfight, so in the north of Scotland we have a lot of little gilrs learning to bullfight, you can imagine how popular I am with my wife and their mothers, I swear im not encouraging them.

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#91425 - 08/06/12 05:23 PM Re: Madrid: Quick advice on Bullfighting [Re: eskimo joe]
Murdy Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 11/14/04
Posts: 314
Loc: Madrid
Speaking of Scotland, Eskimo Joe, you wouldn't happen to be missing a Da Vinci? Read this ! smile
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