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NEWS: Cirque du Soleil Artist Killed In Fall From Stage


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http://www.lasvegassun.com/blogs/kats-report/2013/jun/30/cirque-suffers-another-accident-artist-falls-ka-mg/#axzz2XjUlVAEp

 

Sarah Guillot-Guyard, an artist in "Ka" at MGM Grand and a mother of two young children, was killed Saturday night after a fall from the show's stage at MGM Grand. The Clark County Coroner's Office confirmed this morning that Guillot-Guyard, listed as age 31, died Saturday night.

 

No formal cause of death has been determined pending further examination of Guillot-Guyard's body. She was born in Paris and had spent more than 22 years as an acrobatic performer.

 

It is the first reported death from an accident onstage in Cirque's 30-year history.

 

According to reports from audience members, the incident occurred Saturday night during the latter stages of the production at MGM Grand. Guillot-Guyyard was one of the artists suspended by a wire from the show’s vertical stage in the show-closing Final Battle scene. 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.

 

After the incident, one eyewitness seated in the middle of the audience and just a few rows from the lip of the stage said Guillot-Guyard dropped from the left side of the set (or on the right side, as audience members face the production) over a distance of at least 50 feet. The show momentarily continued, but then the music halted, and the performer’s screams and groans could be heard from below the stage. One source close to the production said she died on the way to a hospital.

 

“(The artist) was being hoisted up the side of the stage and then just plummeted down,” said Dan Mosqueda, visiting with his wife and 10-year-old son from Colorado Springs, Colo. “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.” Mosqueda’s wife, Annie, has a background in theater and tweeted about the incident soon after it occurred.

 

Minutes after the artist’s fall, a recorded announcement was played on the theater’s sound system informing ticket-buyers that refunds or vouchers to future shows would be offered to those in the audience, and the crowd was dismissed.

 

Cirque officials have yet to comment on the incident. It was the second time in less than a week that a Cirque show on the Strip was halted for an accident involving one of its artists.

 

On Wednesday night, a performer in one of the final preview performances of “Michael Jackson One” at Mandalay Bay suffered a mild concussion after slipping through the slack rope in the show’s “Stranger in Moscow” scene, missing the protective pad below the act and landing hard upon the stage. That performer is expected to return to the show.

 

The incident coincided with the celebration of the world premiere of “Michael Jackson One” at Mandalay Bay. During the red-carpet walk before the 7 p.m. performance, Cirque President Daniel Lamarre was asked about the danger the company’s artists face and also said the reason Cirque does not release names of artists injured onstage is so officials can first notify their families when such an incident occurs.

 

“The one thing that people maybe don’t realize is how hurt we are when something like that happens,” Lamarre said, standing just a few off the red carpet. “It’s almost like a family member. We are protective of the artist, first and foremost, and keep focus on the artist.”

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^Definitely agreed.

 

My condolences to her family and friends. My question is how did she get free from her safety wire? Someone with 22 years of experience would almost certainly see if the wire wasn't attached properly.

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KA is an amazing show, but it's really all about the staging. . as soon as I heard there was an accident, I thought it would likely to have been in KA (because that huge, moving, stage could easily hurt someone).

 

Unfortunately, my instincts were correct, although it seems to have nothing to do with the actual stage (although it was not under her at the time).

 

my Condolences, thoughts, and Prayers are with her family at this time.

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That's really sad. Too bad for all of them, but it is amazing that this is the first one in over 30 years. The stunts they do are really amazing, and are all pretty dangerous.

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That's really sad. Too bad for all of them, but it is amazing that this is the first one in over 30 years. The stunts they do are really amazing, and are all pretty dangerous.

 

Yup, and what is so crazy is the she wasn't even in the process of performing an actual stunt, she was just getting lifted up into place.

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I think it really says something that this was the first death that has occurred during the company's history of performances.

 

I was amazed by this as well. It's obvious this company has a commitment to performer safety. I'm sure the show will be closed for awhile while they conduct an investigation.

 

dt

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Very sad news. I really wonder how this happened. Correct me if I'm wrong(I've never seen Ka), but I remember watching a bit on it on the Travel Channel. I thought I remembered that they had a large net under the stage, and that at one point during the show a performer deliberately took an untethered fall from the top of the stage into the net.

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^There are nets and retractable airbags below the stage, but they are not used for all the scenes because the performers have their harnesses. From the sound of the article, it appears there was an issue with her harness or cable.

Edited by Jew
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This is awful news. She is friends with a really good friend of mine. In addition to being a performer she ran Cirquefit Las Vegas which is a program of classes and camps focused on physical fitness blended with circus skills. My friend's daughter took classes from her as well.

 

Here's a pic of her teaching tightwire.

 

553889_366910803378395_1908254109_n.jpg

 

And here is a pic of her in one of her KÀ costumes with two students.

 

521314_345833595486116_1227828400_n.jpg

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I wonder if the record heat in Las Vegas was a factor -- it's easy for heat to disorient someone, even someone who was expert at the safety equipment. Being outside in that sort of temperature is likely to have deleterious effects later in the day, even if the auditorium was cooled with lots of air conditioning. One of the articles I read about the heat wave said there was some sort of outdoor concert going on in Las Vegas that resulted in a lot of people getting sick from the heat.

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I wonder if the record heat in Las Vegas was a factor -- it's easy for heat to disorient someone, even someone who was expert at the safety equipment. Being outside in that sort of temperature is likely to have deleterious effects later in the day, even if the auditorium was cooled with lots of air conditioning. One of the articles I read about the heat wave said there was some sort of outdoor concert going on in Las Vegas that resulted in a lot of people getting sick from the heat.

 

I don't think heat was a factor. The show performs weekly from Tuesday through Saturday and they do two performances each night at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. This incident happened at the end of the 9:30 show which means she did the one before that without problems. She has been with this production for many years now so she was well-adjusted to the climate there. Also, the Cirque theatres have impeccable climate control for the audience and for cast members and crew. They even simulate a blizzard inside the theatre during one of the show's scenes.

 

From what I've been hearing from people within the company they are saying that this seems like some rigging malfunction with her wire and harness however that has yet to be confirmed until the investigation is done.

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Can't find the interview, but someone from Cirque said today in an interview that there was nothing wrong with her safety harness and she didn't fall out of it. So maybe the cable had an issue or the rigging connecting her harness to the cable.

 

Sad day on the strip indeed.

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^Yes. The audience reported "50-foot" fall was only what they were able to see in view. They couldn't see the rest of her fall into the pit which is another 30-40 feet deep.

 

The company had a meeting at 5:30 p.m. last Sunday and word from that was that her wire did snap. However this won't be officially confirmed until the police investigation is finished.

 

I'm not sure what's gonna happen with that "Battlefield" scene but honestly I don't see them performing it again unless they install some kind of netting or airbags as a secondary safety shield.

 

Also, Sarah was a trapeze artist in the Toon Circus Parade at Disneyland Paris about a decade ago. Everyone there at DLP that worked with her are absolutely devastated.

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^^What are the odds a safety cable would fail? The reason there is no net during that particular portion is because of the harnesses. I'm guessing it will be similar to the Xcelerator cable situation, where an inspection was missed or the cable should have been replaced.

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