Cirque du Soleil Performer Killed in Onstage Accident

Jeremy Fuster
Cirque du Soleil Performer Killed in Onstage Accident

Cirque du Soleil acrobat Yann Arnaud was killed in an onstage accident in Tampa, Florida, on Saturday night, prompting the Canadian troupe to cancel its final two performances of its traveling show, “Volta.”

Arnaud, who was a 15-year veteran of Cirque du Soleil, was performing the aerial straps routine during the show when he fell 15 feet and fell on his side on the stage. He was unresponsive when medical personnel attended to him, and he was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Cirque du Soleil says it is investigating the accident and is cooperating with authorities. The last two performances of “Volta” in Tampa, which were scheduled for today, have been canceled, with the company offering full refunds.


“The entire Cirque du Soleil family is in shock and devastated by this tragedy. Yann Arnaud had been with us for over 15 years and was loved by all who had a chance to know him,” Cirque du Soleil President and CEO Daniel Lamarre said in a statement.

“Over the coming days and weeks, our focus will be on supporting Yann’s family and our employees, especially the ‘Volta’ team, as we go through these difficult times together.”

Arnaud is the second Cirque performer to die during a performance. In 2013, Parisian performer Sarah Guyard-Guillot was killed after she fell 90 feet into an open pit during the grand finale of “Ka” at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

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