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Cirque du Soleil performer seriously injured in Montreal

October 16, 2009 | 12:18 pm


Here's another reminder that you should not try these stunts at home.

A 24-year-old performer with Cirque du Soleil suffered serious head injuries today while rehearsing in Montreal for a show, according to reports in the Canadian press. 

The male performer, identified only as a Russian citizen, fell off a trampoline during a training session at a Cirque facility in the St. Michel neighborhood. 

Emergency-services workers said the man was unconscious when they arrived on the scene at 10 a.m. They transported him to the emergency room at Sacré-Cœur hospital.

One report, quoting the Montreal medical services team, described the injuries as life-threatening. A Cirque du Soleil official wasn't available for comment.

While certainly not common, injuries occurring during Cirque performances have been well publicized in the past. In 2007, a 29-year-old performer fell to the stage during a performance of "Zumanity" in Las Vegas. In 2008, an acrobat fell 15 to 20 feet to the stage in a Portland performance of "Corteo." 

The Montreal-based Cirque du Soleil now is celebrating its 25th anniversary. The Canadian company's new touring production "Kooza" is running this week in Santa Monica through the end of November. (Check back with Culture Monster later today for our review of the show.)

-- David Ng

Photo: a scene from "Zumanity" by Cirque du Soleil. Credit: T. Rossa / Cirque du Soleil