Violin Venus takes centre stage in NY
Originally published on: 09/09/11 20:43
Entertainment is an integral part of ensuring the US Open becomes an experience to remember and, like the players themselves, composer and violinist Jane Hunt, aka Violin Venus, is doing her bit at Flushing Meadows.
British-born Hunt, who now lives in New York, has been playing her violin at the US Open since 2008 and will do so again within the grounds on Saturday.
“I’ve had great experiences at the US Open, it’s been a really good place for me to play, so much fun,” said Hunt.
When Jane played at the opening ceremony on Arthur Ashe Stadium 13 days ago, it was her fourth time at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. “I was surprised how small the court was,” she admitted. “You’re in this stadium, but actually there’s not much space. It’s just a regular tennis court and when you see the pictures you think it’s going to be this grand epic stadium, but because of the way the stadium peels out to the side you are only really aware of the people directly close to you.”
This year, the 28 year old made a stunning addition to her act. Alongside her performance of ‘Olympia’, her own composition, she threw in some pretty impressive yoga moves. For interested yogis, she started with a posture known as ‘tree’, moved to ‘Warrior 2’ and then into a ballet style lunge, all the while balanced on a small podium in front of 23,000 people.
“I didn’t know there was going to be a podium until I got to the sound check, and then I’m thinking ‘I’ve got to balance on this podium doing my yoga pose while playing’,” said Hunt, who ultimately came through the test with flying colours.
Jane, who also performed ahead of the 2009 Women’s singles final, reckons she could have made British Tennis headlines that year. “It was funny when it was the women’s final because my friend said: ‘Oh you’re the first British woman to be playing at the women’s final at the US Open’. I was like yes I am, playing the violin!”
As a teenager Jane played county tennis for Lancashire and loves her role on the big stage at the final Grand Slam of the year. “Through playing tennis when I was younger, I have an appreciation for it. So to be there on the court was a really amazing feeling,” she said.
“I get to do what I love in a sporting environment and it’s a sport that I care about. I’ve had great experiences at the US Open, it’s been a really good place for me to play, just so much fun.”
If you missed her performance at the Opening Ceremony you will find Jane playing in the grounds at Flushing Meadows on Saturday and at New York Fashion Week (September 17), or you can check out her video here. Two of her compositions are used by the USTA for their video review soundtrack.
To find out more about Jane, take a look at her website.