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Q&A with Cirque Du Soleil Quidam performer Adrienn Banhegyi

The Cirque Du Soleil performance Quidam comes to Bridgestone Arena this weekend, bringing with it a host of high-flying experts. We caught up with performer and professional jump roper Adrienn Banhegyi to learn more about her experience and what goes into the show.Q3

NL: What brought you to Cirque du Soleil?
Adrienn Banhegyi: (AB)
After 20 or 15 years of competitive jumping rope at one point I was ready to make a transition in my career and that’s when I received an e-mail from the Hungarian Jump Rope Federation that Cirque Du Soleil was looking for a professional jump rope artist. I sent them a video to Montreal, to their headquarters. They invited me for an audition. That was about 8 years ago. [My sister and I] auditioned together. She actually was elected to be part of the show a couple of months after we did the audition while I had to wait for almost 4 years to receive a contract which was for a different show than Quidam.

NL: Jumping rope takes a lot of concentration. Especially when competing, I imagine. Is it difficult to hold that concentration while also focusing on performing?
AB:
Actually that’s something we start our training program with in Montreal once we are selected to be part of a show. They train us to be good actors and artists as well. Because I come from a competitive background most of the time I was focusing on the difficulty and the endurance so it’s a big change to learn how to project the joy I feel inside. When you’re performing and you see how other people react, it helps a lot.

Q1
NL: Cirque du Soleil is known for its eccentric artistic flare and creativity. What’s the most surprising or strange thing you’ve happened upon back stage or in rehearsal?
AB:
The funniest thing that happened was on stage the first time I did the show. We have different roles so, more or less everybody’s main act is almost always perfect, or close to perfect but the side roles add other disciplines. I had to be a momma character and we are rolling in on skateboards laying on our belly and kind of imitating freestyle moves, rolling all the way to the front of the stage. Then we stop for a second and we have to turn. I couldn’t turn my skateboard because my dress got stuck and I was trying to move and I kicked all the lines. For the audience it was probably not that visible because it was not the main thing but everybody back stage was laughing and when I came off, they said, “Ah, momma didn’t make it too well.” There are some funny things happening on stage. It brings a little bit of color to the performance. For the audience it’s something that probably only a person who saw the show, I don’t know, a hundred times would recognize but otherwise it’s something for us to laugh at.

NL: What was the toughest trick for you to master?
AB:
I think one of the most difficult ones is called a release. When you let one handle go, spin the rope around twice and then you grab the handle again and that’s something that you have to be really good with the timing and focus on catching the handle.

NL: Are there any other forms of exercise you use to keep in shape for jumping rope like yoga or pilates?
AB:
I do a lot of different things. I studied physical education and I’m also a pilates instructor and I was teaching [as a physical education teacher for children] before I joined Cirque. It was nice to experience that as well. And I am also a fitness instructor and personal trainer. The nice thing is that when traveling around we have a gym back stage always that is set up in the arena so we have the chance to use very different equipment. And also within the group we have artists who are qualified to give lessons to each other. So we have martial arts classes, pilates; we have dancing, we have personal training. What I try actually is all the aerial things like climbing rope and it’s really a great workout and you have fun spinning around.

NL: As a little girl, did you ever think jumping rope for a living was possible?
AB:
I always wanted to do something that I really liked and my dad is a physical education teacher so he always wanted us to be in sports. I played professional handball but I always stayed with jump rope. I really liked it. The original idea was that if it doesn’t work out, it’s still going to be a really good sport to keep my fitness level. But after a while I said, “No. No. Actually it’s the main thing for me.” I don’t want to do anything else anymore, I just want to do this.

Quidam will perform seven shows June 26-30 at Bridgestone Arena. For a full schedule and tickets, go to cirquedusoleil.com/quidam.

For more of what to do in Nashville, visit our Things to Do page!

— Emily Grace Markanich, editorial intern

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NL Welcomes a new Managing Editor

Hey, Nashville! My name is Erin Byers Murray and I’ve recently taken over as the managing editor here at Nashville Lifestyles. I moved down from Boston just over two months ago, bringing my husband, son, and dog down with me, in hopes of settling in a part of the country we’ve always known and loved (my husband’s family is from Knoxville).

Credit Adam DeTour

A little bit about me:
I moved around a lot when I was growing up but count both Hilton Head, SC and Houston, TX as “places I’m from”; in Boston, I worked for Boston magazine and DailyCandy.com but took a break from the media world to work on an oyster farm, and eventually wrote a book about the experience, which came out last year; I love to eat out, will happily try everything and anything, and though I’m not so well-versed in hot chicken, can tell you all you want to know (and then some) about what it takes to grow good oysters. I have a few restaurants at the top of my to-try list but am always looking for recommendations so shoot them over to me at emurray@nashvillelifestyles.com.

As for Nashville, I’m quickly finding my way and have been out and about these past few weeks attempting to get to know my new hometown. My family and I have hit up events like the Southern Artisan Cheese Festival, Live on the Green, and just last month, Music City Roots at the Loveless Barn where my husband was thrilled to see fellow Knoxville-native Scott Miller up on stage with a damn fine fiddler, Rayna Gellert (for more on the history and growth of that local institution, keep an eye out for our upcoming Music Issue, set to hit stands December 1).

I hear I’ve just barely scratched the surface but will keep you posted on my whereabouts here on the NL blog and on Twitter (@erinbmurray). We’ll be bringing the blog back to life over the next few weeks so check back often for a glimpse behind-the-scenes at all the goings on here at Nashville Lifestyles.com. In the meantime, I look forward to bringing you the best of Music City every month—and always welcome your feedback and ideas.

Cheers,
Erin

Nashville TV Show: Sharing the Style

We look for all the local haunts being revealed each week, readied to critique each cat fight and of course we’re keeping our eyes on all their outfits. If you love the looks on the show, here’s what they’re wearing and where to get it!

— Compiled by our Style Contributor, Devan Brown

Look 1: Rayna in the red cap sleeve dress

Strikingly similar piece by Narsisco Rodriguez ($1,695). Find this dress at Gus Mayer or online.

Look 2: Rayna in The Floral Tank

Equipment Adrien Sleeveless Blouse, $132 (on sale!). Click here to get it while you can.

Look 3: Juliette in-studio dress

Free People New Romantics Santa Anna Fit N Flare, ($228). Check out the Free People Store in The Mall at Green Hills or online.

Look 4: Juliette Floral Dress (with sparkle neckline)

Gryphon Rhapsody Dress, ($470). Available online, click here to see it on shopbop.com.

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Are you more of a Rayna or a Juliette? (Stylishly speaking of course).
Find out which starlet style you are in the Fashion Face-Off on NashvilleLifestyles.com

FREE GIFT with any Subscription

Give the gift of Nashville or purchase for yourself!! We are giving you a FREE bag with purchase of any subscription. Go to shop.nashvillelifestyles.com and all you have to do is enter promo code BlogBag when prompted! Happy Shopping!

Nashville’s Best Burgers

Nope. We’re not tired of red meat yet!

September brings brisk evenings, football and back to school. What a better time to try out some of the city’s best burgers and local beer. From Burger Up, City House and Eastland Café to Five Guys, Gabby’s and Rotier’s, boy have we got the ultimate list of mouth-watering goodness (can you tell we’ve really enjoyed the taste-testing it took to compile this list …). So enjoy! And don’t forget the sweet-potato fries!

Click Here for the full list of Nashville’s Best Burgers.

Oh, and this round’s on us … Nashville’s Best Local Beer.

Best Dressed Issue – On stands NOW!

Keith Anderson at Watermark

Keith Anderson tops our Best Dressed list. See even more of his photo shoot at Watermark on nashvillelifestyles.com

We had the most fun putting together our favorite fall fashion for our September issue. Not only did we feature some of Nashville’s best dressed citizens, but we also gathered over 60 items from our favorite area retails that we HAVE to have this season! Enjoy all the goodies at HERE!