A female Cirque du Soleil performer died Saturday night after falling during a performance of the show “Ka” at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
The incident marks the first death from an accident onstage in Cirque’s 30-year history.
Sarah Guillot-Guyard, a 31-year-old mother of two children ages 8 and 5, fell nearly 50 feet in a fatal high-wire accident.
“Guyard-Guillot was one of the artists suspended by a wire from the show’s vertical stage in the show-closing Final Battle scene,” reports the Las Vegas Sun. “As she ascended to the top of the stage, she slipped free of her safety wire and dropped to the open, unseen pit below the performers.”
The show momentarily continued, but then the music halted, and the performer’s screams and groans could be heard from below the stage, eyewitnesses told The Sun.
One audience member tweeted: “Wire snapped. Performer on far stage left side of stage. He/she fell fast & awkwardly at LEAST 50 feet into pit.”
Paris-born Guyard-Guillot had spent more than 22 years as an acrobatic performer and coach.
Cirque du Soleil founder, Guy Laliberte, released the below statement:
“I am heartbroken. I wish to extend my sincerest sympathies to the family. We are all completely devastated with this news. Sassoon was an artist with the original cast of ‘Ka’ since 2006 and has been an integral part of our Cirque du Soleil tight family. We are reminded, with great humility and respect, how extraordinary our artists are each and every night. Our focus now is to support each other as a family.”
“We have been working with the appropriate authorities and have offered our full cooperation. Performances of ‘Ka’ will be canceled until further notice.”
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