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Cirque du Soleil performer dies after falling in front of packed audience

Monday - 19/03/2018 09:28
A CIRQUE du Soleil performer posted on Instagram “let’s go for it” hours before he died performing a new stunt.
Yann Arnaud was excited to perform the new stuntSource:Instagram
Yann Arnaud was excited to perform the new stuntSource:Instagram

A LONGTIME aerialist for the famed Cirque Du Soleil plummeted to his death in front of a horrified crowd in the United States on Saturday night.

Seasoned acrobat Yann Arnaud was performing a new, heavily rehearsed trick for Cirque du Soleil’s latest show VOLTA, when he lost hold of his rope while swinging almost 5m above the stage and fell, witnesses said.

Arnaud had posted on Instagram just hours earlier, professing his excitement about performing the carefully rehearsed act saying “Our straps duo act is finally in the show tonight. It’s time to go for it.”

 

Members of the audience could clearly see Arnaud’s grip slipping moments before the fall.

Ben Ritter of Tampa said he was in the audience when the tragic events unfolded.

When the high-flying performer slipped and smacked onto the stage, he was “out cold and not moving,” Mr Ritter told the Tampa Bay Times.

The performance was stopped so medical professionals could respond. Arnaud was transported to Tampa General Hospital but died of his injuries, Cirque said.

“Yann had been with us for over 15 years and was loved by all who had the chance to know him,” said Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group President and CEO Daniel Lamarre in a statement.

Cirque du Soleil aerialist Yann Arnaud lost his grip and died during a performance in Tampa, FL.
Cirque du Soleil aerialist Yann Arnaud lost his grip and died during a performance in Tampa, FL.Source:Supplied

“We are offering our full and transparent collaboration to the authorities as they look into the circumstances of this accident.’’

The show’s two final scheduled performances in the city have been cancelled. VOLTA is based on extreme sports.

The theatrical company announced on Twitter that Yann Arnaud fell while performing an aerial straps number during the show VOLTA.

 

Arnaud was taken to a hospital after the fall, where he later died. Cirque du Soleil cancelled its final two Tampa shows on Sunday while the company and authorities investigate how the accident happened.

Mr Lamarre said, “the entire Cirque du Soleil family is in shock and devastated by this tragedy.”

Mr Arnaud had been a performer with Cirque du Soleil for more than 15 years.

Story by New York Post and news.com.au staff.

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