To start, the ambiance of the bullring, I suppose you call it, is actually pretty neat. Everyone gets dressed up for the corrida and everyone is really friendly. You have to be since you are all sitting very close together. They sell candies and other things you would find at baseball games such as peanuts that most people take advantage of. When the fight actually starts, people would say "Bien" or clap when they liked something and they would whistle if they didn't like something. If they didn't like one of the toreros, when they left the ring no one would clap. That's the worst thing for a torero.
|On the first day we went when it got rained out|
It took us a while to figure out what they are looking for when they were cheering, and it's not that they like a good stab. I think it has a lot more to do with the actual art of it, which sounds really weird, I know. But the way that the torero uses the cape and tries to get the bull to circle him is sort of like a dance. The intense pauses where they are standing facing each other hold a lot of energy. And the crowd really hates when there is a "bad" kill, not a clean kill. I won't go into detail about that, but we saw one that was awful and I did tear up a little. Obviously I would never advocate for an activity that ends in the death of 6 bulls all for the sake of entertainment, but there seemed to be more going on than that.
So that was on Monday night. On Tuesday, we spent the whole day preparing for La Feria de Abril. This fair goes back to the 1800's. There are what's called casetas all over the fair grounds, which are private, but if you know someone you can get in (which we did). Usually the casetas have a private bar and a flamenco singer with a small stage for people to dance on and chairs and tables. Besides the casetas, there are actual fair type things such as Ferris wheels, rides, and the normal carnival type games. And, of course, the dresses.
Pili and I spent the day getting my and Paula's dresses ready. I was lucky enough to wear Pili's old one so I didn't have to spend over €150 on a dress. I picked up Paula from school and we went home and got ready. Paula had told me on the way home that she now had a boyfriend so she had to really make sure she looked her best :) They tried to teach me how to dance the Sevillano (although Paula doesn't know it yet either), but there was no way I was going to learn it in one day.
|Pili doing my hair with one of Paula's friends in the background|
|All the kids|
|Paula and I at the fair :)|
Again, the ambiance of the place was amazing. When we were getting ready, I felt sort of like I was getting ready for Halloween or something, as do I think the little kids did, but when we were watching people dance, you could see the elegance in it and how this isn't a game of dress up. This is just their straight up culture. You can see the emotion in their face as they dance (Pili kept telling us that the Sevillano dance was an art of seduction, not "culo" which means ass) and it isn't an act that they put on for everyone; it's for themselves too and their culture in general. You can feel the intense energy that radiates from them and can't help but get caught up in the music and the dance itself. It was really an amazing hour and a half watching it all and soaking it in.
|Maria Jose, the singer and our neighbor|
|Lots of dancing. And I love her dress.|