Cirque show scene returns after performer's death

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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 94 feet 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.

Cirque expects to add the scene intermittently to regular performances for the ticket-buying public starting next week, and it will be part of every performance by Dec. 12, said Alexandria Baum, a spokeswoman for the show.

Changes have been made to the choreography and equipment used in the scene, she said.

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.

The show reopened 17 days later but without the battle scene. It was later replaced with a different scene and eventually a projected version of the battle scene in November 2013.

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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