Olivier Rochette, the 43-year-old son of Gilles Ste-Croix, one of the founders of Cirque du Soleil, was killed earlier this week in a freak accident backstage of the Cirque show Luzia, which is currently playing San Francisco. The technician, according to TheGlobeandMail.com, was struck by a telescopic lift November 29 while setting up for a performance of Luzia inside the troupe’s tent, which is located near AT&T Park.
Cirque du Soleil CEO Daniel Lamarre said in a statement, “I am heartbroken. I wish to extend in my name and in the name of all Cirque du Soleil employees my sincerest sympathies and offer my full support to Gilles and his family. Olivier has always been a member of our tight family and a beloved colleague.”
Performances on November 29-30 were canceled. The Québec-based company has given its full cooperation to authorities, who are looking into the accident.
It's been a difficult week for Cirque du Soleil: On November 27 Lisa Skinner fractured her neck during the Cirque production of Kooza in Brisbane. The company is currently represented on Broadway with the new production Paramour.