A veteran acrobatic performer fell 50 feet to her death during a live performance of Cirque du Soleil’s “Ka” show at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas this past Saturday night, June 29, according to the Las Vegas Sun.
A wire suspending Sarah Guillot-Guyard, 31, reportedly snapped as she and other performers were being lifted up during the show’s finale, the “final battle scene.” She was still wearing the harness that’s supposed to be strapped to the suspension cables when she landed in a pit below the stage, hidden from the audience’s sight line.
Guillot-Guyard, a mother of two, had been an acrobat for 22 years, including seven years performing with the Cirque company. Many families were in the audience, including Colorado resident Dan Mosqueda, who was with his wife and 10-year-old son, and who told the Sun, “Initially, a lot of people in the audience thought it was part of the choreographed fight. But you could hear screaming, then groaning, and we could hear a female artist crying from the stage.”
The audience was swiftly directed out of the theater and were offered refunds or vouchers for future performances. The show has been canceled “until further notice,” according to a statement released by Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté.
While this incident was the first reported death onstage in the aerial acrobatics show’s 30-year history, the Las Vegas Sun notes that this accident marked the second time in less than a week that one of Cirque’s show had to be shut-down midway due to an accident involving one of its performers. On Wednesday night on the Strip, an acrobat in one of the preview performances of “Michael Jackson One” at Mandalay Bay suffered a mild concussion after slipping through the slack rope and landing on an area of the stage without protective padding.