Tag Archives: Damas Goyesca

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54th Corrida Goyesca in Ronda

Today marked the 54th Corrida Goyesca on the last day of the Pedro Romero Feria 2010, with thousands of supporters in the streets of Ronda to see the Rivera brothers and their bullfighting comrades in arms.

The three matadors showing off their skills were Francisco Rivera ‘Paquirri’, Enrique Ponce, and Sebastian Castella, who looked resplendent in their Goya themed outfits. Ladies in the crowd as they approached the Plaza de Toros from the Hotel Reina Victoria eagerly shouted ‘guapa, guapa’ as their carriages passed.

As per tradition, they were joined on their way to the Plaza de Toros by the Damas Goyescas and their president for 2010 Lola Riaza, who also looked absolutely gorgeous and had visitors and residents alike rushing to take snapshots of their finery.

Unlike previous years, tickets to the Corrida Goyesca did not sell out, in fact shaded seats were still available directly from the official ticket office immediately before the toreros arrived to begin the show. Handpicked journalists who covered the event described a smaller crowd than normal and wondered if this was a result of the recent banning of bullfighting in Catalunya.

Significantly fewer politicians from Andalucia and the national stage attended after the town hall in Ronda cut back on spending for a box seat and their usual dinner afterwards. As well, the Duchess of Alba who is a long time supporter of the Corrida Goyesca failed to make an appearance fueling speculation she may be ill.

Here are a selection of our photos taken before the toreros entered the bullring.

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Damas Goyescas Stomp Grapes at the Wine Museum of Ronda

It is becoming a popular and enjoyable event within the Pedro Romero Feria, the annual grape stomping to officially kick off the beginning of the wine pressing season after grapes have matured in the summer sun. The arrival of the Damas Goyesca to lend their feet is eagerly awaited.

Aside from stomping grapes in traditional wooden tanks, which is a lot of fun, the day has a more serious agenda as dignataries and visitors are able to sample some of the latest wines on offer, as well as some of the best meats and cheeses made in the Serranía.

For thousands of years wine has been made in the Serranía, ancient Iberian people are understood to have fermented grapes, though the Romans really gave wine making a boost with dozens of warehouses at Setenil supplied by large villas surrounding Acinipo. In fact Acinipo wine is believed to have been in great demand in the larger cities of Iberia and Rome itself.

During the last century vineyards have slowly made a comeback, not achieving much renown until recently, though the pace of change of acceptance of Ronda wines is speeding up with several local wines taking Gold at some of the most prestigious international wine competitions.

The annual wine stomping at the Museum of Wine in an old factory near the Santa Maria church is new tradition, but one that is proving popular with wine connoisseurs and tourists, in fact in 2007 over 4,000 people attended.

Great strides have been taken to promote wines of the district, with a special designation having been approved “Designation of Origin Malaga – Serranía de Ronda”, especially after the great phylloxera tragedy.

Thankfully the days of Ronda wines being shunned are well past us, and great vineyards such as La Sangre de Ronda, Jorge Bonet, Los Aguilares, Andalus, Doña Felisa and many more attracting attention from some of the best restaurants in Spain, and other wines sought ofter in foreign markets, the future is looking bright.

President Lola Riaza of the Damas Goyescas

Pedro Romero Feria 2010 Opens

Last night saw the opening of the Pedro Romero Feria 2010 with a cabalgata (parade) through the streets of Ronda, starting in the Alameda park and winding its way along Virgen de la Paz to Calla La Bola and then Avenida Malaga before entering the municipal fairground.

Excited parents and children could be heard all night exclaiming at the characters dancing in the streets, proud parents eagerly pointed out their own kids on the floats, and Ronda gave the participants of the Folklore Gala a rousing welcome as they sang, played traditional instruments, and danced their way home.

The highlight of the parade however is always the final float containing the reigning queen of the feria and her damas goyescas, and this year was no different. President of the ladies, Lola Riaza was resplendent in a gorgeous black and white gown with a winged icon behind her.

Each of the damas goyesca was obviously enjoying their moment, smiling and laughing at friends and strangers, and allowing the music to carry them away as they danced in their seats.

The parade this year was much smaller than last owing to significant budget cuts as Ronda tightens its belt amid the worst financial crisis Spain has experienced since the advent of democracy, though that certainly didn’t dampen spirits, and after the parade, the feria ws officially opened with a small but spectacular display of fireworks.

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Damas Goyesca 2010 Introduced to Media and Friends

Today at the Santo Domingo Convent, the fifteen Damas Goyesca and their President were introduced to the media and proud family and friends in a short ceremony hosted by the mayor of Ronda Antonio Marín Lara.

Ronda’s famed Damas Goyesca are chosen for their comportment and elegance, and represent the city through most of the lead up and duration of the Pedro Romero festival, as well as accompanying the bullfighters into the Plaza de Toros during the Corrida Goyesca.

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Damas Goyesca of Ronda

Since the inception of the Corrida Goyesca in Ronda’s September fair in 1954, the ladies of Ronda have been the official representatives of the city, and welcoming committee for visiting dignitaries.

The role is exceptionally demanding, not only from the responsibility of the role, but also from the demanding schedule of training, and gown fittings before the build up to the week’s festivities.

So exceptionally popular have been the Dames Goyesca, that in 2009, a bronze statue of a Goyesca lady was inaugurated in Alameda park, directly across from the statue of Pedro Romero, Ronda’s most famous bullfighter.

Every year a president of the Dames Goyesca is chosen, usually she is a woman well respected in Ronda, someone who has earned the affection of the people of Ronda, and who is held up as a model of womanhood for others to emulate.

At the same time, fourteen younger Rondeñas are picked to support the president in her duties, typically the younger Dames Goyesca will be in their teens, and of course chosen for their beauty, as well as their grace.

The Goyesca Ladies

Every year in Ronda several of the town’s ladies are chosen to be the Dames Goyescas, and represent the ladies seen in some of Francisco de Goya’s paintings of bullfighting and pageantry from the late 18th century. Many of Goya’s paintings were in fact commissioned by a tapestry workshop in Madrid, the aim being to print the paintings on fabric.

When Goya painted his portraits of nobility, the fashion of the day was for colourful fabrics, and matching accessories such as shoes, fans, hairpieces etc. The gowns worn by Ronda’s Dames Goyesca are not exact copies of those seen in Goya’s paintings, instead they are designed to reflect the matador designs seen in Goya’s paintings of Pedro Romero, so can be said to be complimentary rather than historically correct.

Some art historians argue Goya’s paintings of the Duchess of Alba are the inspiration for the gowns worn by the Dames Goyesca, and to a lesser extent this might be true, in that many of the simpler gowns worn by the Dames Goyesca are very reminiscent. The more complex designs however have been developed in the 20th century in response to perceived fashions of the 18th century, and as such are even more stunning and beautiful than they would have been.

Each outfit can cost many thousands of Euros, everything is custom made to suit the lady, right down to handmade shoes and lace shawls. In addition, each Goyesca lady usually has another gown for less formal occasions, and perhaps a third for specific medal ceremonies.