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Cirque du Soleil's Quidam is Jumping

For Adrienn Banhegyi jumping rope is a family affair; both she and her sister are cast members of the Cirque du Soleil show Quidam, taking part in the group jump rope routine. Banhegyi's father introduced his daughters to the sport of competitive jump rope after he saw a performance of American style Double Dutch. "He thought it would be a good sport for us," Banhegyi tells us during a visit to the Houston Press offices. That was almost 20 years ago. From there, the girls entered competitions around Europe, which led to two world records and several World Jump Rope Championships for Banhegyi. The two young women eventually joined Cirque du Soleil's show Quidam, although they do not perform together.

Banhegyi, who comes from Hungary, says Quidam is an emotional journey. The fantasy storyline follows Zoé, a little girl ignored by her parents. To fill her life, she escapes into an imaginary world filled with acrobats, clowns, contortionists, jugglers and other magical characters. Among them is a group of jump rope artists. Some 20 jumpers perform in unison, displaying incredible coordination, rhythm and stamina. Banhegyi considers the jump rope act to be among the most popular for children because it's something they can do - although not at the same skill level as the Quidam artists, of course. For adults, it recalls their days playing Double Dutch.

Quidam comes to Houston March 6 through March 10. Toyota Center, 1510 Polk. For tickets, visit the Quidam website or call 866-446-8849. $32 to $90.

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