Cirque du Soleil Comes To Savannah


Adrienn Banhegyi
Adrienn Banhegyi

The high-flying acrobatic, impressive physical feats, beautiful dancing renditions and all the magic of Quidam will grace the Savannah Civic Center May 7th -9th 2013.

Cirque du Soleil is a “dramatic mix of circus arts and street entertainment, founded in Canada by Guy Laliberte in 1984. It describes “Quidam,” a classic Cirque performance, as the imaginary world into which character Zoe ventures, encountering a “nameless passerby, a solitary figure lingering on a street corner or a person rushing past and swallowed by the crowd” — all of whom are allowed to speak and express their individuality.

The show features 10 different acts, including aerial performances, strong acrobatics, rope jumping and a clown act in which several audience members will be invited to participate.

Quidam pays tribute to individuality; to the uniqueness of each human being. It relates the story of a young girl who feels ignored by her parents. To escape her reality, she slides into an imaginary world where she meets characters who help her discover her true personality.

Although “Quidam” was introduced in 1996, it has only been presented in North America since December 2010. This will be the first, of hopefully many Cirque shows that are introduced to Savannah. The company will be in North American until August before moving on to tour Europe.

Show goers can expect to be wowed by the astounding feats of Quidam performer Adrienn Banhegyi. Banhegyi’s rope skipping performance is expected to be beautiful and emotional which are two major elements of the Quidam show. Cirque du Soleil remains a unique concept, both in performance art circles and in circus craft. “The Quidam experience is like having a world class production in your backyard,” says Jessica Leboeuf Cirque du Soleil Spokesperson.

Adrienn Banhegyi, 29, is a native of Szombathely, Hungary and performs as a soloist and as part of a group skipping act in the production. “My favorite solo trick during a performance would have to be what is called a Release and with the group, it would be Double Dutch.”

She started skipping rope at the age of 6 with the encouragement of her father, who was a physical education teacher. “I started 18 years ago. My dad saw a movie on TV with some girls learning double dutch and some cool tricks. He thought it

Mark Ward
Mark Ward
would be a great sport for us to improve our coordination and conditioning at the same time, so we started to participate in different competitions,” says Banhegyi. . Adrienn began competing in different competitions and as a part of the National Skipping Team she won 3 World Championships and 5 European Championships.

Adrienn first saw a Cirque du Soleil performance on television and knew that it was something that she wanted to be apart of. In 2005, she sent a video of her act to Cirque and was granted the opportunity to audition in France. That audition, which demonstrated Adrienn’s flexibility, strength, power, body language, acting, mime abilities and creativity, led to training with the company in its Montreal training studios. In 2010, she joined her first Cirque show, “Wintuk”, in New York City. When asked how long she sees herself with the company, Adrienn says, “As long as my body is capable.” “Quidam” has a 50-member cast of performs from 19 different countries and another 50 people who work backstage. The “traveling village” travels for 10 weeks straight before having two weeks off to return to their homes around the globe so they can recharge. Adrienn usually spends the time off The most rewarding experience of it all for Adrienn is to inspire children. The performer says that she loves working with children and having opportunities to teach them tricks that seem impossible.

The principal character in the Quidam is “John”, the Ring Master of the touring production Quidam played by Mark Ward. Ward joined Cirque du Soleil in 1993 and has yet to miss a single show. He has performed over 6,500 hundred consecutive shows. Ward says doing this role is an honor and one of the greatest accomplishments of his life. During his 20-year tenure he has performed as a dancer, ball walker, bungee artist and played Japanese Taiko Drums.

Ward grew up in Denton, TZ and comes from a background that includes dance, musical theater, tennis, piano, singing and gymnastics.

The Coastal Empire and Low Country can experience the Quidam May 7-9 at the Savannah Civic Center. Tickets start at $35 for adults and $28 for children (12 and under). There is also Student, senior and military discount plus family four pack specials available. For more information visit www.cirquedusoleil.com/quidam.


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