Published: Sun, March 18, 2018
Arts&Culture | By Antoinette Montgomery

Cirque du Soleil: Aerialist Yann Arnaud dies in Florida show

Cirque du Soleil: Aerialist Yann Arnaud dies in Florida show

Cirque du Soleil has canceled the rest of its scheduled weekend shows after an acrobat was injured in a fall during a performance in Tampa.

The horrifying drop happened Saturday night during the company's production of VOLTA at Under the Big Top on Nebraska Avenue. A Cirque du Soleil spokesman did not immediately return a request for comment from the Times.

Cirque du Soleil said they are gathering more information about the tragic incident and are working with authorities to determine the circumstances of the accident.

"The entire Cirque du Soleil family is in shock and devastated by this tragedy", Cirque du Soleil president and CEO Daniel Lamarre said in statement confirming the death on Sunday.

Yann Arnaud, a 15-year veteran of the surrealist circus, fell during a showing of VOLTA, during a performance in which he sailed through the air clinging to heavy straps, according to a statement from the Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group.

The Tampa Bay Times reported, citing a video it viewed, that Arnaud fell from about 12 feet during an aerial straps performance after he lost his grip. "Over the coming days and weeks, our focus will be on supporting Yann's family and our employees".

In August 2017, a show in Gatineau, Que., was stopped temporarily when a performer fell. They said he was rushed to a local hospital, where he later died. "After about five minutes, the Cirque officials got on the loudspeaker and told us to leave".

The company was set for perform two additional shows near the Tampa Greyhound Track on Sunday, but those performances have been canceled.

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