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Cirque show scene returns after performer’s death

November 25, 2014

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A key battle scene near the end of Cirque du Soleil’s “Ka” show is returning more than a year and a half after a performer fell to her death when a wire rope snapped during the stunt.

Cirque du Soleil officials have invited reporters to a Dec. 3 preview of the scene’s return at the MGM Grand hotel-casino on the Strip. It wasn’t clear when the scene would return to regular performances for the ticket-buying public.

Performer Sarah Guillot-Guyard ascended too quickly on June 29, 2013, during the climactic scene, causing a wire rope she was suspended from to come out of a pulley and sever, state investigators said at the time. She fell 94 feet (29 meters).

The show reopened 17 days later but without the battle scene.

Guillot-Guyard was the first performer to die in an onstage accident in Cirque du Soleil’s history.

Nevada’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration informally settled with Cirque du Soleil Nevada and MGM Grand after Guillot-Guyard’s death.

After initially issuing several citations and proposing penalties, OSHA cited Cirque du Soleil on two counts and fined the company $7,000. The agency cited MGM Grand on one count but didn’t issue any fines.

“Ka” is one of eight Cirque du Soleil productions at hotel-casinos on the Las Vegas Strip.

A few months after the “Ka” incident, Cirque removed a stunt called the “Wheel of Death” from its show “Zarkana” at the Aria Resort and Casino after a male performer fell off and was hospitalized.

In August, a performer in “O″ at the Bellagio resort was injured while using that show’s Russian Swing, which launches performers into the air and then the water.

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