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The Art of Fierceness

The Performance of the Spanish Fighting Bull
  • Garry Marvin
Chapter
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Abstract

Since the early eighteenth century events have been staged in Spain in which professional teams of men perform with, and kill, bulls in urban spaces, originally in closed-off town squares and later in purpose-built arenas, in front of an audience: the Spanish bullfight.1 However, the term ‘bullfight’ wrongly suggests a sport in which men and bulls engage with each other in aggressive, physical, bodily combat. For the human performers and the audience the event is not a fight and it is not a sport. For them the processes of the encounters in the arena are regarded as an art, toreo — an art that has a set of aesthetics peculiar to it and to no other event. The relationship between man and bull does begin as a contest, a struggle of the assertion of different wills, powers, strengths and influences, but, ideally, this contest should become resolved into a partnership of performance expressed as an elegant fusion of the movements of the two: a performance improvised at the moment of its enactment.

Keywords

Male Calf Bull Breeder Female Performer Cape Pass Human Performer 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Garry Marvin 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Garry Marvin
    • 1
  1. 1.University of RoehamptonLondonUK

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