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September 23, 2014

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‘O’ artist released from hospital after suffering injury during Russian Swing act

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Leila Navidi

Performers wait to take the stage during “O” at the Bellagio on Thursday, June 13, 2013.

Cirque du Soleil O

An artist in Cirque du Soleil’s production of “O” at Bellagio was injured Wednesday night after hitting the stage while dismounting from the show’s Russian Swing act.

Cirque officials have confirmed that an artist was injured during the late performance of the aquatic production, transported to a hospital by an emergency response team and released this morning.

The artist, whose name has not been released in keeping with Cirque privacy policies, is said to be “doing well.” In a statement, the company said,” As with any incident, Cirque du Soleil will investigate the cause related to it.”

The Russian Swing is a swiveling platform that catapults performers high into the air, where they perform acrobatic spins and twists, then land in a splash in the watery stage.

The show has simultaneously employed three such pieces in “O,” with performers alternately being shot skyward toward the center of the stage. In Wednesday’s show, the artist reportedly missed the water and instead struck the padded concrete stage.

Such safety risks are prevalent in every Cirque show. In June 2013, the company experienced its first onstage fatality during a performance when Sarah Guillot-Guyard was killed after falling from the vertical stage in “Ka” at MGM Grand.

The company was issued a series of a half-dozen citations in the aftermath of that death, though in the end all but one penalty against the company were reversed.

Just three days before that incident, an aerial artist in “Michael Jackson One” at Mandalay Bay was injured after slipping free from a “slack rope” and falling hard to the stage. In November, a Cirque artist was injured after falling from the Wheel of Death during a performance of “Zarkana” at Aria.

Follow John Katsilometes on Twitter at Twitter.com/JohnnyKats. Also, follow “Kats With the Dish” at Twitter.com/KatsWiththeDish.

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