What's on Tap

What's on Tap

Cirque du Soleil safety precautions take center stage

Posted July 10, 2013

— In light of a fatal fall during a Cirque du Soleil show in Las Vegas last month, the famed performance company's safety practices are under even more scrutiny. 

Sarah Guillot-Guyard, 31, died after falling about 50 feet from the show's stage during a production of "Ka" at the MGM Grand. Performances for that show were canceled and will resume next week. OSHA's investigation could take up to six months. 

"It was a big shock for us," said Kata Banaggyi, a performer in Quidam. "This has never happened in Cirque before."

"Ka" is one of 20 Cirque shows playing around the world this year — eight of which are based in Las Vegas.

One of the Cirque's traveling shows,"Quidam," is premiering at the PNC Arena Wednesday night. 

No major changes have been made to Quidam's safety policy, even though safety continues to remain the number one priority for Cirque du Soleil.

"Before the performers even come here [to] the arena, we spend a whole day putting everything together and about three to four hours checking everything, making sure everything is safe," Quidam spokeswoman Jessica Labouf said. Quidam in Raleigh Safety remains at the forefront for Quidam performers

Cirque is not a stranger to accidents, but this is the first fatality for the troupe. The show does not use safety nets or harnesses.

"The reason there's been so few accidents is they pay so much attention to safety," Larry Lester, who has worked in theater and previously oversaw live action shows at Universal Studios before launching an entertainment design firm, told the AP. "They're constantly looking at that. They're constantly practicing."

Montreal-based Cirque du Soleil was established in 1984 and now includes more than 1,300 artists, according to its website. 


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