Tragedy struck a Cirque du Soleil show in Las Vegas Saturday when a performer plummeted 50 feet to her death. Sarah Guyard-Guillot, 31, was pronounced dead Saturday night, making her the first reported death in Cirque du Soleil’s 30-year history.
The French-born mother of two was reportedly being hoisted up the side of a vertical stage during a performance of the Cirque show, KA, when she slipped and fell into an open pit below. “Initially, a lot of people in the audience thought it was part of the show,” said audience member Dan Mosqueda. “But you could hear screaming, then groaning, and we could hear a female artist crying from the stage.”
Guyard-Guillot had been with the original cast of KA since 2006 and had been an acrobatic performer for over 20 years.
Cirque founder Guy Laliberte issued a statement Sunday mourning the loss of their company member and saying that all performances of KA would be cancelled until further notice. “I am heartbroken. I wish to extend my sincerest sympathies to the family. We are all completely devastated,” said Laliberte. “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.”