Enter the imaginary world of ‘Quidam’ at Bridgestone Arena

We all have that imaginary place where we retreat when the world seems tough. Some may close their eyes and imagine themselves kicked back on the beach with a beer; others let their mind wander to faraway lands with dragons, goblins and knights. It’s a place of our own creation where we can be who we really are.

Known for their innovative productions, Cirque du Soleil brings that imaginary world to life when Quidam plays at Bridgestone Arena June 26 – 30.

For a bored, young Zoé, Quidam (pronounced Key-dahm) is the imaginary world she slips into when she feels that parents are ignoring her and her life has lost meaning. Along the way, Zoé meets characters who help her discover her true personality.

In advance of the June shows, O&AN spoke with performance artist Adrienn Banhegyi, a World Champion rope skipper, to talk about how Quidam relates to kids today, how she picked up the jump rope and how difficult becoming part of Cirque du Soleil truly is.

Do you think the message of Quidam will resonate with kids about finding out and accepting who they really are?

The storyline of the show follows a girl who discovers a lot about life and is on an emotional journey. I think it has a very strong message for that.

Also by looking at the acts, it’s an inspiration. You see that it’s possible to live your dreams and stick with what you like doing in your life. For children, the jump rope is the perfect tool to demonstrate from a simple thing you can bring out such a big professionalism and create something spectacular.

Well talking about doing what you like, not many kids grow up wanting to be World Champion rope skippers. When did you know it was what you wanted to do?

Actually, it started as a fun activity. We didn’t plan that we would go to the professional level when we started. My dad came up with the idea that we should do jump rope because it improved coordination, concentration and the condition as well.

That’s how it started but when we found out there was a federation in Hungary and internationally, we started to attend competitions. After spending 15 years in the competitive jump rope world, it became clear it was something we could use in the future.

How old were you when you won your first World Championship?

Actually, I was 13.

So young. So how does skipping rope bring you to Cirque du Soleil?

The auditions for Cirque are quite tough because we don’t really know what to expect with a whole day of testing. The one I participated in in France, we had 50 people starting with us in the morning and by the end I think there were eight of us. We had to do flexibility tests, strength tests, role plays, singing, gestures and different characters to demonstrate how we imagine.

At the end of the day, you find out if you are a candidate for future shows. So that was eight years ago and I had to wait four more years to be contacted.

What is it like traveling with Cirque du Soleil?

It’s a very special way of living your life. There are more than 50 artists from 20 different countries and some artists are giving lessons to others. Also, on tour with Cirque we have classes for martial arts, pilates, dancing and personal training. You live your life in a small little village with people that become your family.

Have you found any obstacles or challenges since coming onto Cirque?

For me, coming with a competitive background, it was a big transition because we had to learn to be actors as well and how to express ourselves.

Well you must stay on a pretty strict diet, do you plan to eat any Southern food while in Nashville?

Too late (laughs). I already have. Since jump rope burns so many calories I am not such a big on a diet. I can eat just about anything.

Quidam will continue a winning streak for Cirque du Soleil shows and Nashville audiences when it comes to Bridgestone Arena June 26 – 30. For more information and tickets visit bridgestonearena.com.


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