Joining Cirque de Soleil cast was a dream come true


An avid rope-skipper, it was Adrienn Banhegyi’s childhood dream to compete on Hungary’s National Skipping Team.

After skipping for five European Championship teams and three World Champions, the next natural step would be to find someone else whose dreams included skipping rope – for example, young Zoe, the main character in Cirque du Soleil’s show Quidam.

The show chronicles Zoe’s imaginary world, a place created out of boredom where fantastic, joyful and marvelous – which is all to say, Cirque-y – things happen.

Actually, Quidam is Banhegyi’s second show with Cirque; she performed as a skipper in Wintuk starting in 2010.

“I had been thinking it was time to look for something different,” Banhegyi told The Beat. “When I was in high school, I thought about (auditioning for Cirque du Soleil), but my father thought I was too young. When the Hungarian Federation informed me they were looking for skippers again, I knew I had to try.”

To see Banhegyi’s solo and team skipping in Quidam, one might be surprised to learn that she feels “I still have plenty of things to work on and improve.”

Banhegyi is one of a cast of 52 acrobats, musicians and other performers from around the world who bring the vision of Zoe’s imaginary world alive.

“It’s nostalgic, and blends fantasy and real life,” Quidam spokesperson Jessica LeBoeuf explained. “The characters look like they could have come from a toy box. But it’s inspired by (Zoe’s) humanity and individuality. Everyone will recognize some of the actions, some of the intentions.”

Quidam has been on the road for 16 years, but is making its first stop in Columbus.

“It’s like a family-friendly movie,” LeBoeuf said. “There’s something in it for everyone.”

Cirque du Soleil’s Quidam plays Nationwide Arena for six shows Thursday through Sunday, Dec. 6-9. Tickets are $35-$80 for adults, $28-$65 for children age 12 and younger, $31.50-$67.50 for military, seniors and students. Visit cirquedusoleil.com/quidam.