José Tomas, now Alicante

Having just begun the month of August, the Pell de Brau in celebrations, many of which -Catalonia included- with the bull as its central axis, bullfighting turns to Alicante, chosen by José Tomás for its second -and last?- appearance in the season, just two months after the strange afternoon in Jaén and with the same format: alone against four bulls from three different herds. And also with the Mallorcan painter Miquel Barceló who designed an ad hoc poster. From genius to genius.

As is the norm whenever the master of Galapagar is announced, the graceful city is convulsed and bullfighting is divided among those who find themselves at the box office within hours -in Alicante, eleven thousand places in half a hour- and hotel beds and those who criticize him for not assuming greater commitment (sic), i.e. fighting more often, in prime places, sharing a shortlist, to raffle the bulls… or that, both in Jaén and now in Alicante, bullfighting is four bulls and not the six that are the norm.

The eleven thousand places sold in half an hour

In Alicante, a very bullfighting city that has two outstanding dynasties, the Esplá and the Manzanares, these days are arriving fans from different corners of the planet of bullfighting, mobilized by José Tomás. During the presentation ceremony of the bullfight with Nacho Lloret, director of the bullring of Alicante, the deputy mayor Mari Carmen of Spain and the councilor for employment and development, clearly indicated the economic impact for the city stating that the three million euros would be insufficient invoicing in the hospitality and commerce of the last time that José Tomás was in Alicante, in 2016, and also the social repercussion of a celebration that had during from previous days a wide and unprecedented advertising display (which also reached Valencia) and on weekends, under the name of Tendido Único, with different cultural and gastronomic activities.

José Tomás bullfight poster made by Miquel Barceló

José Tomás bullfight poster made by Miquel Barceló


ask by the vanguard Regarding the negotiation process with José Tomás, Nacho Lloret explains: “At the beginning of April, we got in touch, explaining that Alicante, where he fought and triumphed several times, could be a place that would correspond to his ideas. The positive response was almost instantaneous and in no time the contract was closed. The one in Alicante is a place he loves, we’ve had a good relationship for many years and it all added up to make things pay off, although it’s always a challenge because the requirement he puts himself in the arena also asks in the employer. That is why we wanted to cover the bullfight so that it is not left bare, it is not the beginning and the end in itself, since it is also not part of a fair, as in the case of Alicante, it is the bonfires in San Juan. Six thousand people from different parts of the world will arrive in Alicante and we want them to find a city that suits them and we have the full support of the city council”.

And he adds: “If we talk about numbers, we could compare it to a Copa del Rey final, to a tennis Open or more precisely to Alicante the round the world regatta which has its place of departure from time to time. here. All of these events don’t come on their own, they have a band-aid around them that has to do with what society demands and if the bulls don’t want to treat them the same way, we come back.”

José Tomás shot twenty-seven years of alternative, with periods without a fight by his own decision or, in the case of the very serious goring of Aguascalientes in 2010, due to a long convalescence. The Monumental de Barcelona was his place and he shared a hat-trick there, in 2008, with Esplá -and Serafín Marin- in what was the Alicante master’s last in the Catalan capital.

Twenty-seven years of alternative turns José Tomás

And from Esplá we also wanted to know your opinion: “In terms of bullfighting, the fact that José Tomás fights in Alicante is an extraordinary accessory because bullfighting here has its origins in the fairs of San Juan and San Pedro and everything revolved around of the bull before losing its supremacy and being included in the festivities of the bonfire Por eso, volver a convert Alicante into a contecimiento taurino es retomar, aunque sea puntualmente, la dimension que tuvo dentro de la historia taurina, pues siempre fue una ciudad privilegiada en cuanto a la calidad de los festejos, incluso en agosto, con la Corrida de la press. And that José Tomás was the architect of it could not be another, obviously. José Tomás understands bullfighting as an event and if we are able to transmit it, not to trivialize it, to manage bullfighting as such, of this dimension, we give it all the brilliance, the splendor that bullfighting needs at the moment and that it had to already”.

Regarding the way José Tomás has managed his career, these sporadic appearances and now in four bullfights, Esplá clarifies: “To get to this point can seem a bit exaggerated. I wish it would be lavished more, even with this masterful formula. If you have to give fewer races, there are fewer races, but make each one the event I mentioned earlier. Despite this, there is no room for criticism, everyone must decide how to organize their artistic life, but at the moment it is a pity that the strength of José Tomás does not give more play. He is the engine, he should let himself be touched, reach more audiences, after all, the bullfighter is a popular hero. That it be repeated, that it be closer to the fans, that seems essential to me because of the benefits it would bring, but it is not me who gives recommendations”.

Esplá concludes: “Bullfighting alters the pulse of society.”

Like José Tomás in Alicante.

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