Aerial Artist Recovering After Shocking Fall During Performance

A Circus Rio performer plummeted nine metres from a hoop suspended mid-air in front of a horrified audience, but is now on the mend.

Remarkably, Gabby Souza, 28, escaped serious injury. She remains at the Royal Adelaide Hospital after undergoing surgery for broken wrist and two dislocated elbows.

Gabby Souza is an experienced circus performer. Photo: Facebook

"I guess at first you thought it was part of the act, until you realised when she'd fallen and it was an accident," Phoebe Groth, a witness, told 10 News First on Tuesday night.

"We felt sick," said Lynley, another audience member.

Despite the close call, some families returned to the circus on Wednesday to see the show go on.

"The first thing we thought was, I hope she's not hurt badly and that she's OK. That's the main thing," said Colin Hill on Wednesday, as he purchased tickets for his grandchildren.

Circus Rio organisers issued a statement on Wednesday, saying Souza is an experienced aerial artist, and her performance -- a traditional Brazilian act known as the Lira -- is performed without a safety net to ensure authenticity.

"Circus is circus. We love our job, Gabby likes her job, she loves circus," said Circus Rio director Yuri Ebrisimov.

Gabby Souza performing the Lira routine.

Souza underwent surgery on Tuesday and is expected to make a full recovery. She plans to return to performing as soon as she's able.

SafeWork SA is investigating the incident.

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