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Death Strikes Again At Cirque Du Soleil With The Tragic Demise Of Performer Yann Arnaud

The biggest theatrical company in the world is grieving its third death in its 34-year-long history.  



Image from Yann Arnaud's Facebook page


Image from Yann Arnaud's Facebook page


Aerial artist Yann Arnaud plummeted to his death during a performance in Tampa, Florida this weekend after he appeared to lose his grip on one of the rings attached to his aerial strap. The incident happened in front of a live audience and shook cast, crew, and show-goers (some of which were children) alike. 

Yann's number required him to perform side-by-side with another aerial artist in a synchronized routine, which can be viewed here. About one minute into the performance, each artist swung towards opposite ends of the stage, seemingly to prepare to meet in the middle, but as Yann was speeding back to the center, the 38-year-old's hand slipped, leading him to fall an estimated 20 feet. He showed no signs of movement when he fell on the stage. 


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A post shared by Jornal O Globo (@jornaloglobo) on


Image from Yann Arnaud's Facebook page


Image from Yann Arnaud's Facebook page


According to audience member Julian Martinez who was interviewed by local television channel WFLA, "You heard all the cries of the audience.There were children there and they were freaking out."

"It kind of colors our opinions of what is going on behind the scenes. What is the cost of our entertainment at that point?" the eyewitness continued. 

As one of Cirque du Soleil's most experienced performers, Yann's fatal misstep proved to be a shock to all, and considering his routine's relative "ease" in comparison to others he's successfully executed in the past, many are baffled as to why the Cirque veteran might have made a mistake. The accident happened during a routine that included Cirque du Soleil's new VOLTA production. 


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His death is the third Cirque du Soleil has had to process. In 2013, acrobat Sarah Guyard died after falling from a high wire, and in 2016, Olivier Rochette, son of the company's co-founder Gilles Ste-Croix, died when he was crushed by technical equipment while preparing for a show in San Francisco. 

Consequently, Cirque du Soleil canceled their remaining Tampa shows and is cooperating with local authorities in the investigation of the accident. An autopsy of Yann, who was currently residing in Miami before passing away, is due to take place on Monday. 

Company president and CEO Daniel Lamarre released the following statement in response to questions about the accident:



Yann died from injuries he suffered from his fall after being rushed to the Tampa General Hospital. He leaves behind his wife and two young children. The performer's last post on his Instagram account is captioned with a message relaying his excitement in "finally" getting to perform the routine that tragically took his life. 

Content and cover images from @yannarnophoto