Tragedy at KÀ

Posted on Jun 30, 2013 in News | 0 comments

KÀSarah Guillot-Guyard, 31, was an aerialist in Cirque du Soleil’s “KÀ” at the MGM Grand casino and a mother of two young children. She was killed Saturday night after a fall from the show’s stage. The Clark County Coroner’s Office confirmed this morning that Guillot-Guyard died Saturday night, but no formal cause of death has been determined; pending further examination of Guillot-Guyard’s body.

Born in Paris, France, Sarah Guillot-Guyard had spent more than 22 years as an acrobatic performer and is a graduate of Annie Fratellini Art & Circus Academy where she specialized as an Acrobat and Aerialist.

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

According to audience members, the incident occurred during the ”Final Battle” scene in the latter stages of the show. Guillot-Guyyard was one of the artists suspended by a wire from the show’s vertical stage. 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.

The final fight scene, performed on a vertical stage, during Cirque du Soleil’s “KÀ” at MGM Grand on Friday, Nov. 28, 2008

After the incident, one eyewitness said Guillot-Guyard dropped from the left side of the set over a distance of at least 50 feet. The show momentarily continued, but then the music stopped and the performer’s screams & groans were heard from below the stage.

One source close to the production said Guillot-Guyard died on the way to a hospital.

“[She] 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, CO. “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 incident, Cirque offered ticket-buyers refunds or vouchers to future shows before the audience 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 Las Vegas Strip was halted for an accident involving one of its performers.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Sarah Guillot-Guyard’s family at this very difficult time. ■