A Cirque du Soleil performer was killed following an onstage accident during the performance of the show ‘Ka’ at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday, reports said. This is Cirque du Soleil’s first such casualty.
The performer, Sarah Guyard-Guillot, 31, was part of the show’s final performance, and she was hoisted up and was suspended by a wire, when she suddenly plunged down 50 feet into a pit.
"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," Dan Mosqueda, who was in the audience, told the Las Vegas Sun.
Guyard-Guillot, a mother of two who had more than 22 years of experience as an acrobatic performer, was immediately rushed to the hospital, but was pronounced dead shortly before midnight on Saturday. She was part of the original cast of ‘Ka,’ and had been with the long-running Cirque du Soleil show since it premiered in 2006.
"Our company is deeply saddened by the loss of one of the talented KA artists Saturday night,” MGM Resorts International, Cirque du Soleil’s artistic and business partner in Las Vegas, said in a statement, cited by the Las Vegas Sun. “The thoughts and prayers of our employees are with the performer's family, the cast of KA, and the entire Cirque family during this difficult time."
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The show’s performances have been canceled indefinitely, the company said in a statement on its Facebook page.
“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,” Guy Laliberte, Cirque du Soleil founder, said in the statement.