Cirque de Soleil Kaa performer falls to her death

The article says she was screaming all the way down, and then, when she hit the ground and they turned off the music, the audience could hear her screams and cries. She died on the way to the hospital. I guess a wire snapped. They’ve not had a death in all their thirty years.

When we went to Vegas February 2012, we saw Kaa. We most likely saw this young lady performing. All shows of Kaa have been canceled for the forseeable future. How horrible.

I feel terrible not only for the audience but for the other performers. I’ve been in a dance troup, and it is like your extended family. There’s plenty of bickering and fighting but you love each other, too. I can imagine the horror.

This was one of the front page stories in the LVRJ today.

They shut Ka down for the moment; no shows at all at least for a few days. I’m guessing they may have had to do so for investigatory purposes.

Things like this hit an entertainment community hard. All you can do is sympathize and help those who’ve lost a loved one and hope like hell that it was some kind of equipment failure and not human error that caused the fall/injury/death.

And then hope that if the production company was somehow at fault, they don’t deny and evade for years but rather own up and handle things. It’s rare, but it can happen.

I saw that show in late May of this year, so I most likely saw her as well. The possibility of such an accident occurred to me then, but I figured they must have rigorous safety inspections of all the equipment. It is an amazing show, especially that final battle scene.

I’ve been to a few Circque shows and the possibility of an accident like this has always been in the back of my mind. Now that it’s turned into a reality, I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to completely enjoy another show.

So sad.

Somewhere a producer for Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark feels a one-two punch of pride and shame.

‘At least my show didn’t kill anyone; oh shit, did I just think that?’

How terrible for everyone. I can’t believe with all the incredibly intricate acrobatics that they do, that this is their first fatal accident.

I wonder if a rubberized floor would have mitigated the injuries, or if 50 feet is just too much of a fall regardless.

On some level, there are no pure equipment failures, totally free of human error. Someone signed off on the substandard part, even if it was all the way back at the factory. That’s why I do lighting, not rigging. I don’t have the stomach for that kind of pressure.

I think the key is “first fatal accident”. They’ve had maiming, career-ending injuries, but no deaths, until now.

I watched a friend fall from about 12 feet up, on aerial silks. No mat or net below. She face-planted on bamboo over concrete floors.

Aside from a hyperextended elbow, a couple of very loose teeth and a broken nose, she turned out fine. But it was horrifying to watch* and it took her a long time to get up the guts to get back up there again. I’d have a hard time going on with the show as a performer because the sound of that woman’s screams would probably haunt me forever. :: shudder ::

  • She had time to scream “OH SHIT!” before she hit the floor with her face. And she bounced. But then she jumped up to her feet and said “Ohmygod I can’t feel my face!” at which point the ambulance was called, her daughter collected, and she was placed on a backboard until she was checked out thoroughly. Much higher and she might have died.

There’s no getting around the fact that part of the appeal of these shows is the element of danger. That’s true for so much of our entertainment–air shows; auto racing; daredevil stunts.

The chance that someone will die is in some way attractive and intriguing to us. If not, these forms of entertainment wouldn’t prosper. (The physical dexterity and grace that’s also on view in Cirque shows doesn’t seem to be…enough.)

What are some of the serious accidents they’ve had?

Here’s a good summary:

  • training death in 2009 (fall off trampoline)
  • injury a few days ago at the Michael Jackson: One show after a fall from above the stage (taken away in wheelchair, expected to recover)
  • 2007 Zumanity fall - critical condition for one performer who later recovered, minor injuries for another, related to an aerial silk act
  • 2006 Zumanity - injuries during practice and a lawsuit vs Cirque
  • 2008 Corteo - performer fell to the stage after losing her grip
  • La Nouba, unspecified injuries
  • 2002 O - site electrician had crushed skull from thousand-pound prop falling on him, lost 25% of skull and paralyzed from the waist down

50 feet is just too much - falling into water from that height can be fatal if you aren’t lined up just right to enter the water, no solid floor would be safe.

Well, maybe those giant air mattress things stunt men use, but even then I’m not sure how likely you’d survive, or what injuries might still occur. After all, when stunt men do high falls they plan the whole thing, carefully “launch” themselves, and are expecting the fall. This would be unplanned, unexpected, and Og knows if the person, even a professional acrobat, would be able to keep his or her body positioned to land safely under those circumstances.

I completely disagree.
I’m perfectly happy to watch trapeze artists with nets below or stunts with safety wires.

The idea of watching somebody die is appalling to me.

People vary on this. Some simply don’t go to air shows or car races, and don’t care for aerial acts without nets.

But there are plenty of people who love and seek out this kind of entertainment–enough to create an ongoing demand. How many of them are honest with themselves about what they hope to see, is probably unknowable.

There are no safety wires at air shows and car races. The Cirque aerialist who fell reportedly had a safety wire that failed.

I saw a recent performance of the Quidam tour and noted that the only airborne performer who was wired was a trapeze artist who swung in the middle of a rope, the ends attached to the left and right way above her. She would jump above the rope and spin and land back in the middle while swinging. The other aerial acts were acrobats who performed on ropes with just one end attached above the stage and the ones who performed on the hanging fabric. These latter performers had no safety wires but unlike the trapeze girl, their act did not require them to lose contact with their apparatus .

That’s what I read - that there was a wire and it failed. I am not surprised at the number of incidents reported, it is a very complex operation, yet am impressed this is their first onstage fatality before an audience in more than 30 years, what with all the shows they have on. Though the public at large tends to hear about mishaps with these sorts of shows only when there’s a fatality, like here, or when there’s a high-profile headliner involved such as Roy Horn’s mauling.

It’s not just that she fell. The Ka finale takes place on a vertical stage, so the wires aren’t for safety so much as they are there for “resistance to gravity.” It wasn’t a safety wire, it was her sole support during the routine. From what I read, she slipped out of the harness while being hoisted up to the wall for the scene. If anything failed it was the harness or the connector.

If I’m reading correctly, there’s no good evidence that it was a wire. The idea that it was a wire came from a patron who tweeted it, and with all due respect to audiences, they don’t know shit about rigging. It could have been the wire, but it could also have been the harness, the shackle that connects the wire to the harness or to the pick point above, or any number of other things. It could have been a mechanical failure that someone should have caught, or it could have been user error in the way it was set up. We really don’t know at this point.

I really hate those high-wire & trapeze acts. I’d rather give them a couple bucks and tell them, “Please don’t risk your life for my entertainment.” Yeah, it’s AMAZING to watch, but I’d really hate to see this kind of thing happen.

I was at a little amusement park north of Pittsburgh one day, in 1991 I think, and there was a family act performing on sway poles, out in the open air. It started to sprinkle, and the wind kicked up a bit. That’s the first time I realized I’d rather not pay people to do that.

They were fine. The one guy went on to fame with Barnum & Bailey. Bello Nock.

Horrible story. :frowning:

Is it just me, or could the people posting the video on the page linked in the OP have picked any other still shot than the one they showed? That pic is quite creepy and makes her look like they used a shot of her dead body.