Cirque Du Soleil Acrobat Who Plunged to His Death Was Trying New Act for the First Time
Veteran Cirque du Soleil aerialist Yann Arnaud, who died after falling 20 feet during a performance in Florida on Saturday, March 17, was trying out a new act for the first time, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
The Times cited an Instagram account believed to belong to the acrobat, who had performed for 15 years with the renowned troupe.
The Instagram account has now been made private.
“After so much work and training and staging, our straps duo act is finally in the show tonight. It’ s time to go for it,” Arnaud said in the post on Saturday.
Arnaud, 38, plunged to his death during the show “Volta” in Cirque du Soleil tents put up to host several days of performances at the Tampa Greyhound Track.
Representatives of Cirque du Soleil said they would investigate.
“The entire Cirque du Soleil family is in shock and devastated by this tragedy,” the entertainment group’s President Daniel Lamarre said in a statement, according to Fox News. “We are currently gathering more information about this tragic event. We are offering our full and transparent collaboration to the authorities as they look into the circumstances of this accident.”
The famed theater group also canceled its final two Tampa Sunday performances.
A separate investigation has been launched by the Tampa Police Department, though the Times reported authorities believe the fall was accidental, citing a statement by police.
The Instagram account that features Arnaud’s name has more than 12,000 followers and more than 300 past posts.
A post from two months ago shows the aerialist practicing a new double-strap routine.
“Work in progress! Happy I can still learn new stuff close to 40,” wrote Arnaud.
According to Fox, this is not the first time a performer was injured or killed at Cirque du Soleil.
Former Olympian Lisa Skinner lost her grip during a solo aerial hoops act in November 2016 and was hospitalized after falling 16 feet to the ground.
The first onstage fatality in the performing group’s history took place in October 2013, where acrobat Sarah Guyard-Guillot plummeted 94 feet to her death.
Arnaud is survived by a wife and daughter.