Brittany Malooly
March 18, 2018 1:59 pm

It is with heavy hearts that we share the news that a veteran Cirque du Soleil aerialist, Yann Arnaud, passed away on Saturday, March 17th following a devastating mid-performance fall in Tampa, Florida.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, Arnaud lost his grip while trying to execute an “aerial straps number” during their long-running show, VOLTA. While he reportedly survived the initial fall, he died later in a nearby hospital from injuries sustained in the accident. So, so sad.

On Sunday, March 18th, President and CEO of the Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group Daniel Lamarre released a statement on the Cirque du Soleil Twitter account.

“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.”

Absolutely heartbreaking. You can read the full statement on the incident below.

Julian Martinez, an audience member who witnessed the fall, told Tampa’s WFLA that Arnaud seemed to be struggling during his performance.

"I saw the performer visibly straining to hold onto the rope," Martinez explained. "I saw the two acrobats exchanging glances beforehand and I don't know if one was trying to see if the other was OK."

Arnaud seemed to be quite excited about his show last night. He shared a photo on Instagram before the performance with a now gut-wrenching caption: “After so much work and training and staging our straps duo act is finally in the show tonight.”

There is no doubt that Arnaud was dedicated to his craft.

Only a few months ago, he shared that he was pleased with his ability to learn new moves as he approached 40. Such talent.

Here he is performing a solo back in February.

Arnaud is survived by his wife, Inna, and his daughter.

What a beautiful family.

Our hearts go out to his loved ones and friends. We are sending our best wishes to get through this horribly painful time. Yann will be missed.

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