Cirque du Soleil to resume Vegas show after death

In this Nov. 28, 2008, photo, Sarah Guyard-Guillot, left, and Sami Tiaumassi perform as 'Forest People' during Cirque du Soleil's 'Ka' at MGM Grand Resort in Las Vegas. Guyard-Guillot, a mother of two young children, was pronounced dead at a hospital late Saturday night, June 29, 2013, after falling about 50 feet from the show's stage during a performance of Cirque du Soleil's 'Ka.' (AP Photo/Las Vegas Sun, Leila Navidi)
July 15, 2013 9:17:19 AM PDT
Cirque du Soleil will resume performances of its "Ka" show in Las Vegas on Tuesday night, 17 days after an acrobat fell about 90 feet to her death in its closing scene, the company announced Sunday.

But the show at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino will resume without the final aerial battle scene that resulted in the June 29 death of Sarah Guillot-Guyard, spokeswoman Renee-Claude Menard said.

The decision to resume the show was made after consultation with the production's artists and staff, she said, and Tuesday night's show will be dedicated to the late Paris-born performer's memory.

The battle scene act will be replaced with a "dressing-ritual" scene that maintains both the story line of the production and its 90-minute length.

Coroner's officials have ruled that the 31-year-old Guillot-Guyard's death by blunt force trauma was an accident. She was still in her harness when she fell.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has launched an investigation that could take six months.

Horrified audience members who witnessed the accident say they initially thought the acrobat's fall was part of the show. They say they realized something had gone wrong when they heard cries of performers.

The show momentarily continued, then stopped. Minutes after the accident, a recorded announcement informed audience members that refunds or vouchers to future shows would be offered, and the crowd was dismissed.

Cirque du Soleil officials say it was the first time a performer has died from an onstage accident in the company's 29-year history.

The mother of two was a French citizen and Las Vegas resident. She had been with the original cast of Ka since 2006, and had been an acrobatic performer for more than 20 years.

Plans call for Ka to resume with a modified schedule with shows starting at 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. The regular schedule, also featuring late shows at 9:30 p.m., will resume July 23.


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