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November 27, 2014

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‘Zarkana’ artist injured after slipping from ‘Wheel of Death’

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Cirque du Soleil

The Wheel of Death act is performed during Cirque du Soleil’s “Zarkana.”

'Zarkana': Red Carpet and Show at Aria

Cirque du Soleil's Launch slideshow »
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Behind the scenes of Zarkana in November 2012.

Less than a week after being issued a half-dozen citations from OSHA in the death of “Ka” artist Sarah Guillot-Guyard, Cirque du Soleil has reported that an artist was injured Friday night during “Zarkana,” the production at Aria.

Posted today just before 10 a.m. on the company’s Facebook page was this report of the incident: “During the 7 p.m. performance of ‘Zarkana’ last night, an artist performing in the ‘Wheel of Death’ act slipped and fell off the wheel. The show was halted and the artist was transported to UMC, where he is in stable condition and is expected to be released from the hospital in the next few days.”

In keeping with the company’s long-held policy of not releasing names of artists injured during performances, Cirque is not formally identifying the performer who was injured. However, sources close to the show with knowledge of the incident said the injured performer is longtime “Wheel of Death” artist Junior Delgado, who has performed the act in “Zarkana” since it opened at Aria in November 2012 and also was in the cast during the show’s run at Radio City Music Hall in New York.

Facebook conversations (some of it translated in Spanish) on the page of Delgado’s fellow “Wheel of Death” performer Carlos Marin Loaiza indicate that Loaiza checked in (the Facebook version of checking in) to UMC on Friday night with Delgado after the incident and that Delgado underwent successful surgery on his leg.

The injuries do not seem serious, and Cirque says “Wheel of Death” is to return to the show upon the artist’s return, with an aerial “straps” act in its place. In the “Wheel of Death” scene, two performers run and even skip rope atop and inside a pair of spinning wheels rotating high above the stage. The act is popular among Cirque productions, and, as its name indicates, is a high-risk endeavor.

“Wheel of Death” is featured in “Ka” and also in the touring show “Kooza.”

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

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