As of late I have been going through my photographs of Spanish Corridas for an upcoming proposal and this particular shot, a favorite of mine which I haven’t showed on my website (just doesn’t fit into the current edit), feels like front and center in terms of how I feel about this whole project.
The guy, I forgot his name (we’ll call him Sancho), his squire to Sergio Dominguez, a Rejoneador (Matador on horseback) whom I was photographing on that particular morning. When I asked him to demonstrate how exactly they trained horses for the day they end up in front of a live bull he quickly called in Pancho who, armed with cart/fake bull wheeled contraption, started running after the horse which Sergio gallantly maneuvered around. It was a hot humid day and I felt sorry for the guy, I took a few frames and told Sergio I had what I needed so that he’d make Pancho stop running.
Now I am not implying that Sergio wasn’t treating Pancho fairly, quite the contrary, he was nice, polite and even a little shy. Nevertheless I could still feel that master/squire relationship of old. In fact bullfighting in Spain feels very much to me like it belongs to another time. Matadors still act like they are Princes walking above the masses, they still court ladies ringside and the whole fanfare around a Corrida looks like it came straight out of the 1750s.
This tradition which is fading quite rapidly (faster than some people think), whatever its faults, remains a big part of Spanish culture and history, in a way it defines a part of who they are. I feel that its important to document it before its relegated to the history books.
Two links that you might want to follow if you want to see what a Rejoneador does … they are not overlly gorish but its still bullfighting.
Pablo Hermoso (this guy is the Wayne Gretzky of Rejoneador)