CARRIÓN: A CELEBRATION, 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ALTERNATIVA
Prepared by Don Conover (bibliography) and Dave Tuggle
La Busca, 2nd Quarter, 2005
Mario Carrión Bazán became a matador de toros on May 31, 1955. TBA congratulates Mario in the celebration of the 50th anniversary of his alternativa. (see “President’s Palco” and the back cover of La Busca)
Mario joined TBA in 1984 and has been one of our most active members. Beginning with “An Open Letter” in 1985, Mario has contributed 21 articles and reviews to La Busca. In addition to that first item, the articles include “Los Toros en 1989” (Jul-Aug 1989), “Belmonte and Manolete: The Herculean Pillars of Modern Bullfighting” (Nov-Dec 1990), “Bullfighting In California” (Mid-Year 1994), “The Dilemma Of Bullfighting In California” (Mid-Year 1995), “The Fiesta Brava” (2nd Qtr 1995), “TBA Catalogues Taurine Literature in English” (translated by Jane Hurwitz) (Mid-Year 2000), “California Bullfights With Velcro”(summarized NY Times) (Spring 2001), “The Paper Napkin” (2nd Qtr 2003), “Currito de la Cruz, the movie and Pepin Martín Vázquez, its star” (4th Qtr 2003).
The books reviewed are: Olano’s Dinastias – “Dominguín”, Ordoñez, Rivera (30th Anniversary Issue 1994), Moral’s Coma Ver Una Corrida De Toros (Recognition Issue 1996), Feiner’s La Mujer en el Mundo de los Toros (Recognition Issue 1997), Innis’ Also Rising (4th Qtr 1997), Ramón’s Las Suertas del Toreo Por Sus Maestros (Spring 1999), Ramírez Villalon’s El Palacio del Arte (Spring 1999), Hosch’s Moments of Truth, Flights of Fancy (Spring 2000), Feiner’s Los Protagonistas de la Fiesta (Mid-Year 2000), Feiner’s !Torero! Los Toros en el Cine (3rd Q 2004), and Feiner’s Toreros de Plata (4th Q 2004).
Mario also contributes articles to other publications, and one of his most important is the chapter “Pases de costadillo” (photo right, p. 344) in Todas Las Suertes Por Sus Maestros (Espasa Calpe 1998) edited by José Luis Ramón, and he maintains an important taurine website www. erols.com/mcarrion/, where he also helps promote TBA.
Cossío’s Los Toros (Vol. 4:403-4) provides the following biography (translated) along with two photographs:
Carrión Bazán (Mario). Matador de toros born in Sevilla on January 13 1934,* cousin of the diestros Martín Vázquez. He performed publicly for the first time on December 7, 1949 in a festival in Sevilla, and in 1950 began to appear in novilladas sin caballos, with a great success in Vera on June 11 of that year i His first appearance con picadores was in Tánger, July 18, 1952, with Juan Belmonte Fernández and Antonio Vázquez, and later that year, on September 14, he made his presentación in Madrid, along with Joselito Alvarez and Braulio Lausín, with bulls from Arturo Sánchez y Sánchez. This first appearance in Madrid was a double success, with Mario cutting an ear from each of his novillos. He began the 1953 temporada with his name becoming well-known, and he performed in nineteen novilladas. He frequently fought in Madrid, and although he never quite hit the top rank, he was always known as an excellent torero. He had two notable cogidas that year, one in Linares and one in Villanueva del Arzobispo. In 1954 he fought in 20 novilladas, with a great success in Madrid on August 1, cutting two ears, but was injured in another novillada later that month. After two novilladas in early 1955, he took his alternativa in Cáceres, May 31, from Jumillano, Pedrés as witness, with the bull Perlito, of the ganadería of Francisco Garzón.** He was in thirteen corridas during the rest of 1955, but was gored on September 4, in Teruel, by a bull of Antonio de la Cova. He confirmed his alternativa in Madrid on April 8, 1956, from Victoriano Posada, Parrita as witness, with the bull Brujito of Celestino Cuadri Vives. He had twelve corridas during that season, at the end of which he traveled to Ecuador. He returned to Spain in 1957, but appeared in only four corridas and on June 24 in Osuna was badly gored by a bull of Fermín Díaz. He later returned to the Americas to perform there, and had no corridas in Spain 1n 1958.
To complete Mario’s taurine biography from other sources: in 1958 and 1959 he performed in Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Panama , and Guatemala, with his last corrida on October 14, 1959 in Colombia. Shortly after that he moved to the United States. For Mario’s autobiography, see his website (noted above).
* Mario tells us that his birth date in Cossío is incorrect (an error found in virtually every one of his biographies) and that it is actually January 23, 1933.
** On his webpage Mario says: “My performance that afternoon was one of the highlights of my career. I obtained four ears and a tail, and left the ring through 'the Puerta Grande’.” He also records that he had nine major cornadas during his career.