Patience pays off for rope-jumper
A hop, skip and jump brought Adrienn Banhegyi to Quidam.
Sure, there was a lot of hard work and some luck, as well, but the Hungarian performer said it all began when her dad came up with an idea.
A physical-education teacher, her dad wanted to find a way to work with special-needs children to help them with co-ordination, concentration and exercise.
He decided rope-skipping would be best and started the classes.
“I joined with the girls he was teaching,” Banhegyi said, “and, after a while, we started making our own tricks.”
She loved skipping and was intrigued by the many ways it could be done, the opportunities to work acrobatics into it.
Banhegyi learned of a rope-skipping federation in Hungary and went to one of its shows.
She was pretty much hooked after that, she said.
“They were doing such crazy stuff and I decided that was my goal. I saw tricks and I wanted to master them.”
Along the way, she competed as an individual and team member at various levels, winning awards and continuing to bring creativity and more physicality into something that originated in such a simple way.
Then came the day when Banhegyi told her father she saw a possibility to do rope-jumping as a profession — and maybe even work with Cirque du Soleil.
“He wasn’t very sure about that,” she said.
“But, now, he has a very different opinion. He is very proud.”
Banhegyi’s determination to join Cirque came after she saw one of its shows — ironically, Quidam — on television.
The federation she had joined received an email from Cirque that it was looking for rope skippers so Banhegyi recorded a DVD of all the tricks she could do and sent it off.
“The closest audition was in France so there we were in the car headed there,” she said.
“I did the audition and, at the end of the day, they announced the people they were interested in and I was one of them.”
She didn’t hear from Cirque again for several years and then was contacted and asked if she could join a show in New York City.
“I didn’t expect much,” she said. “It had been six years [since the audition] and a lot of things can change.
“But, I kept practising, teaching kids to jump rope and doing performances.”
Performing in Cirque is different than competing, Banhegyi said.
“In competition, the goal is to achieve good results. But in Cirque, the focus is different.
“It is important to get a connection with the audience.
“I’m having more fun doing this.”