Cirque du Soleil acrobat tragically falls to his death doing new move he was ‘desperate to try'

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By VT

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Yann Arnaud, a Cirque du Soleil acrobat, fell to his death last week during a live performance. The 38-year-old was trying out a new routine when something went wrong, leading to him falling onto the stage in front of the audience. He died from his injuries at Tampa General Hospital early the next morning.

His Instagram said he was desperate to try out the new routine with aerial artist Pawel Walczewski, posted shortly before the show. In a now-removed post he uploaded a shot of himself practising the stunt. "After so much work and training and staging, our strap duo act is finally in the show tonight," the caption read. "It's time to go for it."

He apparently lost his grip on an aerial ring and fell 20 feet to the floor as the horrified crowd watched on. The complex routine involved them swinging back and forth over the stage, interlocking arms as the ropes wound around one another. As they unwound, they swung to opposite sides and back, at which point Arnaud lost his grip and fell.

Ben Ritter, who was watching the performance, said he was "out cold and not moving" after he hit the stage, according to The Tampa Bay Times. Arnaud was a veteran acrobat for the production, performing with the Cirque du Soleil for 15 years before this current show, titled VOLTA, ended in tragedy.

[[instagramwidget||https://www.instagram.com/p/BeRMokPltUU/?taken-by=inna_innag]]

"While he was performing the aerial straps number, long-time aerialist, Yann Arnaud, fell onto the stage," the entertainment group said in a statement. "Emergency procedures were immediately activated and Yann was transported to the nearest hospital, where he later passed away from his injuries."

It has also recently come to light that Arnaud was from Champigny-sur-Marne, France, and lived in Miami. Other social media posts indicated he had a wife and daughter, including Instagram posts from his wife of them visiting Disney World only a few days before his death.

[[instagramwidget||https://www.instagram.com/p/BgBg_lqlD87/?taken-by=inna_innag]]

Daniel Lamarre, president and CEO of Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group, also spoke on what had happened:

"The entire Cirque du Soleil family is in shock and devastated by this tragedy. Yann had been with us for over 15 years and was loved by all who had the chance to know him."

"Over the coming days and weeks, our focus will be on supporting Yann’s family and our employees, especially the VOLTA team, as we go through these difficult times together.

"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."

[[instagramwidget||https://www.instagram.com/p/BfvrJmvl58T/?taken-by=inna_innag]]

Their run at the Tampa Greyhound Track began on February 14 and was to end Sunday, but the final performances were cancelled in light of what had happened.

The Tampa Police Department are investigating the incident, though a spokesperson for the department said that it appeared to be an accident. An autopsy will be performed this week by the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner's Office, TPD spokesman Steve Hegarty said.

Cirque du Soleil acrobat tragically falls to his death doing new move he was ‘desperate to try'

vt-author-image

By VT

Article saved!Article saved!

Yann Arnaud, a Cirque du Soleil acrobat, fell to his death last week during a live performance. The 38-year-old was trying out a new routine when something went wrong, leading to him falling onto the stage in front of the audience. He died from his injuries at Tampa General Hospital early the next morning.

His Instagram said he was desperate to try out the new routine with aerial artist Pawel Walczewski, posted shortly before the show. In a now-removed post he uploaded a shot of himself practising the stunt. "After so much work and training and staging, our strap duo act is finally in the show tonight," the caption read. "It's time to go for it."

He apparently lost his grip on an aerial ring and fell 20 feet to the floor as the horrified crowd watched on. The complex routine involved them swinging back and forth over the stage, interlocking arms as the ropes wound around one another. As they unwound, they swung to opposite sides and back, at which point Arnaud lost his grip and fell.

Ben Ritter, who was watching the performance, said he was "out cold and not moving" after he hit the stage, according to The Tampa Bay Times. Arnaud was a veteran acrobat for the production, performing with the Cirque du Soleil for 15 years before this current show, titled VOLTA, ended in tragedy.

[[instagramwidget||https://www.instagram.com/p/BeRMokPltUU/?taken-by=inna_innag]]

"While he was performing the aerial straps number, long-time aerialist, Yann Arnaud, fell onto the stage," the entertainment group said in a statement. "Emergency procedures were immediately activated and Yann was transported to the nearest hospital, where he later passed away from his injuries."

It has also recently come to light that Arnaud was from Champigny-sur-Marne, France, and lived in Miami. Other social media posts indicated he had a wife and daughter, including Instagram posts from his wife of them visiting Disney World only a few days before his death.

[[instagramwidget||https://www.instagram.com/p/BgBg_lqlD87/?taken-by=inna_innag]]

Daniel Lamarre, president and CEO of Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group, also spoke on what had happened:

"The entire Cirque du Soleil family is in shock and devastated by this tragedy. Yann had been with us for over 15 years and was loved by all who had the chance to know him."

"Over the coming days and weeks, our focus will be on supporting Yann’s family and our employees, especially the VOLTA team, as we go through these difficult times together.

"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."

[[instagramwidget||https://www.instagram.com/p/BfvrJmvl58T/?taken-by=inna_innag]]

Their run at the Tampa Greyhound Track began on February 14 and was to end Sunday, but the final performances were cancelled in light of what had happened.

The Tampa Police Department are investigating the incident, though a spokesperson for the department said that it appeared to be an accident. An autopsy will be performed this week by the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner's Office, TPD spokesman Steve Hegarty said.