La Décima -- a Puerto Rican Poetry Contest
The concert featured artists from Mexico, Colombia, and Puerto Rico singing décima verses in the manner of those countries. Décima is a verse form of ten lines consisting of eight syllables each. It originated in Spain in the 1500s but has spread throughout Latin America.
This clip features the Puerto Rican style of décima, with Puerto Rican poet Victor Hernández Cruz as the emcee. Singers in Puerto Rico who improvise décima verses are called trovadores. At this point in the concert, the audience was asked to give a sentence which would be the last line that the singers would have to use in the verses which were made up on the spot. Here the line--which is called a ""pie forzado""--was ""La voz de la libertad."" Noted cuatro player Yomo Toro accompanies the trovadores who are from Puerto Rico, New York, and Connecticut. They include Angel Nieves, Eddie Rosa, Hiram Martínez, and Arturo Santiago Jr."