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TODAY   |  July 01, 2013

Cirque du Soleil performer dies after 50-foot fall

Acrobat Sarah Guyard-Guillot, a seven-year veteran of Cirque du Soleil, fell during the show’s finale, plummeting 50 feet. Her death is the first in the troupe’s 30-year history. NBC’s Gabe Gutierrez reports.

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>> much. now to las vegas . new details on the death of a cirque du soleil performer that fell to her death during the popular "ka" show. all performances are cancelled until further notice. gabe gutierrez has the latest.

>> reporter: good morning. this is the first time in their 30 year history that a performer died during a live show. today we're learning more about the victim and what happened.

>> the terrifying 50 foot fall during the show's finale left the audience stunned.

>> it went from just watching the show, being very nor normal to did we just really witness someone fall to their death.

>> her stage name was sassoon but in reality sarah was 31 years old. a seven year veteran.

>> somehow her rope or the harness holding her up. i don't know if it broke or what happened with it.

>> the horrifying accident happened during the grand finale of "ka" at the mgm grand in las vegas . on the same night, another show premiered on the vegas strip , michael jackson one, a tribute to the late king of pop . but in a video posted online "ka's" production manager described why this show with it's unique moving stages was so different.

>> this was the show where all the restraints were thrown off and they said let's build something we've never before.

>> pushing the limits draws audiences. who could forget when roy was attacked by a tiger on stage. now another tragedy. cirque du soleil 's founder says the troupe was devastated and we're reminded how extraordinary our artists are each and every night. she leaves behind two younger children.

>> i heard her screaming on the way down.

>> a haunting performance for a tragic reason.

>> and cirque du soleil has cancelled all future performances of "ka" until further notice. willie, back to you.

>> a terrible story this morning