Cirque du Soleil performer falls and dies during Las Vegas show


For the first time since Cirque du Soleil was founded in 1984, a performer has died during one of the company's shows. A female acrobat was killed after falling 50 feet during a performance for MGM Grand's "Ka" on June 29.

The performer has been identified as Sarah Guillot-Guyard, a 31-year-old mother of two. The Las Vegas Sun reports that she was born in Paris and was an acrobat for 22 years. Cirque du Soleil officials are expected to release a comment later on June 30.

Needless to say, the show was cancelled after the woman fell. The performer was suspended by a wire during a portion of the show and spectators say that the "wire snapped," causing her to fall. The Las Vegas Sun, meanwhile, says Guillot-Guyard "slipped free of her safety wire."

"Performer on far stage left side of stage. He/she fell fast & awkwardly at LEAST 50 feet into pit," Twitter user AnnieR writes. "Other actors were visibly upset & horrified. Crew members were calm & one by one got the other performers off stage."

This isn't the first time this week Cirque du Soleil shows in Las Vegas have been the site of a performer's injury. An acrobat slipped through the slack rope during a preview of "Michael Jackson One" at Mandalay Bay on June 26 and suffered a mild concussion, though he is expected to recover.

Update: Cirque du Soleil released a statement about Guillot-Guyard's death. "The entire Cirque du Soleil family is deeply saddened by the accidental death," it reads. "The artist's immediate family has been informed of the accident. Our thoughts are with her family and the entire Cirque du Soleil family."

Cirque founder Guy Laliberte adds, "I am heartbroken. I wish to extend my sincerest sympathies to the family. We are all completely devastated with this news."

Photo/Video credit: Cirque du Soleil