The Cirque du Soleil aerialist who died after falling 20 feet during a Saturday performance in Florida was attempting the new act for the first time.
After sharing his excitement on an unverified Instagram account about trying his new act, French acrobat Yann Arnaud, 38, plunged to his death during the show “Volta” in Tampa.
A prophetic Instagram message posted by Arnaud on Saturday read, “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 @pawel_walczewski . #volta #cirquedusoleil #strapsduo #aerial #aerialarts #aerialacrobatics #florida #tampa #acrobatics #gymnastics #duo #hallofequals #cirfit #cirfit_lifestyle #cirfit_usa #cirfitapparel #cirfitworld #teamcirfit Thanks @andregymbrasil for the picture.”
The original Instagram post has now been removed, but a screenshot is provided below.
Cirque du Soleil released an announcement on Twitter confirming that Arnaud fell while performing on the aerial straps during Saturday’s show.
— Cirque du Soleil (@Cirque) March 18, 2018
Arnaud’s death is under investigation by the Tampa police, although they stated in a release that it appears to be accidental. Following his fall, Arnaud died at a hospital early Sunday. He had performed with Cirque du Soleil for more than 15 years, Fox News reported.
On Sunday, Cirque du Soleil canceled its final two performances scheduled in Tampa.
“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. “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.”
One other death has occurred during the performance of a Cirque du Soleil show. In October 2013, veteran acrobat Sarah Guyard-Guillot died after falling 94 feet during the conclusion of a performance, which marked the first onstage fatality in the history of Cirque du Soleil.