In late June throngs of viewers flocked to the MGM Hotel in Las Vegas to witness the awe-inspiring high-flying acrobatic stunts of the popular daredevil troupe Cirque du Soleil.
Instead, they witnessed a tragedy. Sarah Guillot-Guyard, 31-year-old troupe member, accidentally lost her balance high above the stage and fell to her death.
This isn’t the first time accidents occurred during a Cirque du Soleil production. In 2009, a 24-year-old Russian performer also died from head injuries sustained during a training exercise on a trampoline.
In 2007, two performers were also hurt when one lost a grip, and along with her partner, fell to the floor. Both survived the accident but sustained injuries. In 2006, another performer fell and sued the company for injuries. And last, but not least, just last week, a performer in “Michael Jackson: One” at Mandalay Bay fell from high above and was wheeled off in a wheelchair.
This could just be the beginning too. Injuries have been reported at Cirque du Soleil shows in Portland, Ore., and also at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla.
When will these injuries stop? The answer may be never. High flying acrobatic stunts draw big crowds and thus big bucks. People often pay to see daring feats of danger where performers routinely flip, fly, spin, turn, and more, sometimes with no safety harness and nothing more than their toe gripping a swinging rope.
Until America’s fascination with such dangerous feats subsides, there will always be a market for such dangerous circus acts. And until then, big bucks will fuel the old showbiz mantra: The show must go on.
Thanks to derekskey for the picture of Cirque du Soleil performers.