Morante de la Puebla
José Antonio Morante Camacho was born in Puebla del Rio in Seville on 2 October 1979. There is no history of bullfighting in his family, but even so, I have it on good advice that they were the first to support him in whichever arena he fought. A huge number of the matadors from Seville's family move from arena to arena where they cheer along or grieve with him, depending on the outcome of the afternoon. José made his debut in Guillena, Seville, and qualified in Burgos on 29 July 1997.
During the season of 1999, for the first time, he passed through the Puerta de Principe (The Prince's Door) of the Real Maestranza de Caballería bullring in Seville, which is the large door through which matadors are carried upon their fans' shoulders, the most coveted position in bullfighting.
One year later after triumphing in this same arena, he was carried through it on the shoulders of his fans. José was gouged for the first time and it affected him that whole season. He fought in Madrid in 2000, where the spectators are said to be the most demanding to please, but he managed to captivate them by elegantly overpowering the bull, despite it being a difficult animal. The destiny of some matadors is mapped out and Morante has his destiny sealed in a bullfighting arena; that of El Puerto de Santa María, Cádiz.
Joselito de Gallo once said of this historic building, 'he who has not seen a bullfight in El Puerto, knows not what it is to watch a bullfight'. Time and again he has reigned triumphant in El Puerto de Santa María, where he has had many afternoons of true inspiration. His manner of bullfighting is irregular but when he receives a bull, there is not one person in the arena who is left unimpressed by his passes.
Morante's technique is natural bullfighting, nothing forced, because the essence of his style is his lust for life. His wrists, arms and waist have a certain character and some would say they have a mind of their own but are lead by the head that beats out the rhythm of skilled movement of the cape, like a song that breaks the air when sung.
Without a doubt, the characteristic trait of this matador from Seville is bullfighting using the cape. With the flannel low he links a series of movements perhaps impossible, perhaps precise but most certainly full of life. Bullfighting is also an expression of the body and in Morante it demonstrates his identity.
When this type of body language is forced it looks ridiculous, but when it comes naturally, as it does to José Antonio, it lends distinction to the soul of the matador bursting with pride, with satisfaction at his achievement.