Hungarian jump rope artist loves spotlight in Cirque du Soleil 'Quidam'

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Adrienn Banhegyi had no idea when she started jumping rope as a child in Hungary that it would lead to incredible career opportunities.

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Cirque du Soleil Quidam performer Adrienn Banhegyi demonstrates her skills with a jump rope during a visit to Augusta on April 18 to promote the traveling show.  MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
Cirque du Soleil Quidam performer Adrienn Banhegyi demonstrates her skills with a jump rope during a visit to Augusta on April 18 to promote the traveling show.

“My dad saw a movie about Double Dutch. He was teaching at a boarding school, and it was inexpensive. It had easy equipment,” said Banhegyi, 29, a world champion skipper and a performer with Cirque du Soleil.

Banhegyi is one of three jump rope artists assigned to the show, Quidam, which will be at James Brown Arena at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 30, and Wednesday, May 1.

Tickets are $37-$97 for adults and $30-$78 for ages 12 and younger from georgialinatix.com, (877) 4AUGTIX or at the arena box office.

Only two jump rope artists take the stage at the same time; the third arrives in town ahead of the show to promote it. Banhegyi and her younger sister, Kata, alternate performing and making appearances. Adrienn Banhegyi was in Augusta on April 18.

Improving coordination and staying fit were among her early jump roping goals, but after seeing an American Double Dutch competition team, she expanded them to include competing.

Banhegyi has been with Cirque since the end of 2010 and with Quidam since 2011, but at one time, she’d almost given up hope that she’d ever perform with the company.

Despite holding two jump rope world records and winning multiple world and European jump rope championships, she waited four years before Cirque du Soleil called her with a job offer.

She’d submitted an audition tape, and it was stored in a database until the organization had a spot for someone with her skills.

Quidam is the story of “a young girl’s escape into the world of imagination,” according to the Cirque du Soleil Web site.

Cirque spokeswoman Jessica Leboeuf called Quidam “classic Cirque du Soleil.”

The story blends in acrobatics, clowns and audience participation.

Banhegyi performs a solo routine and participates in a group piece in the show.

Banhegyi said she likes performing with Quidam.

“I really like the story line. It relates to every single one of us,” she said.

To see Banhegyi in action before the show, visit YouTube.

A video of her jumping in the streets of her native Hungary was posted on YouTube on April 17 and within four days had more than 1.5 million hits.

ONSTAGE

WHAT: Cirque du Soleil presents Quidam

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 30, Wednesday, May 1

WHERE: James Brown Arena, 601 Seventh St.

TICKETS: Adults $37-$97, ages 12 and younger $30-$78; tickets: box office, georgialinatix.com or (877) 4AUGTIX, or at the box office


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