Mudcat Café message #1398180 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #35850   Message #1398180
Posted By: Cool Beans
03-Feb-05 - 02:26 PM
Thread Name: Help with playing 'Chinese Jump Rope'
Subject: RE: Chinese Jump Rope
In 1995 I wrote a story about a man, a musician no less, who made a Chinese jump rope video that was quite good. I just looked him up and he's still around (in the Detroit, Michigan, area). I bet he has a few copies he'd be willing to part with.
He is
Larry Prentiss (248) 305-8436

And here's the story I wrote:

Chinese jump ropes
Aerobic exercise meets cat's cradle.
That's what the game Chinese jump rope looks like. "Game" is a misnomer; there are many different games to be played with a Chinese jump rope. A new video by Michigan songwriter-turned- producer Larry Prentiss teaches, very clearly, how to play 11 of them: Skinny Americans, Diamonds, Sailboats, Colors, Snap Back . . .
Wait. We're getting ahead of ourselves. A Chinese jump rope is a closed elastic band about three feet long; it easily stretches to twice that length.
    You could loop it around your hands and play cat's cradle, but it's more commonly looped around the ankles of two people while a third, stationed between them, jumps in and out and over and on.
There are lots of variations. In Prentiss' video, which features children as demonstrators, the games look like fun and good exercise.
And, yes, the game really originated in China, says Prentiss. Originally from Livonia, Prentiss plays bass, writes songs and has worked with Rare Earth, Johnny Rivers, Anita Baker, Jose Feliciano and other popular entertainers. How did he make the jump, so to speak, from music to producing a video about playing Chinese jump rope?
"I saw my kids doing it. I saw the thing in stores." Prentiss' daughters, Melissa and Amy, are among the children featured in the video. Prentiss says he can play Chinese jump rope, too. "I had to practice it." He worked with a Chinese folk dancer and other jump rope savvy Asians in California to make sure he had everything right.
The 28-minute video, which comes with an instructional booklet and a
Chinese jump rope, sells for $14.95. It's not in stores yet but can be ordered from MelAimee (as in Melissa and Amy) Productions