A performer in the Las Vegas Cirque de Soleil show Kà was killed Saturday night in a 50-foot fall during the show, the Las Vegas Sun reported Sunday.
Sarah Guyard-Guillot, 31, a mother of two who had spent more than 22 years as an acrobatic performer, was pronounced dead at 11:43 p.m. Saturday night at the city's University Medical Center.
The Sun quoted audience members who said that Guyard-Guillot fell during the show's dramatic final battle scene, in which many of the artists are suspended from wires along the massive, vertical stage.
Guyard-Guillot, who was nicknamed Sassoon, "was being hoisted up the side of the stage and then just plummeted down," audience member Dan Mosqueda told the paper. "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, tweeted: "Wire snapped. Performer on far stage left side of stage. He/she fell fast & awkwardly at LEAST 50 feet into pit."
The Sun said that 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. The crowd was then dismissed.
It is the first stage death in Cirque de Soleil's 30-year history.
"I am heartbroken," Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte told the Sun. "I wish to extend my sincerest sympathies to the family. We are all completely devastated with this news. Sassoon was an artist with the original cast of Kà since 2006 and has been an integral part of our Cirque du Soleil tight family.
"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."
Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY
Gannett / USA Today