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FLAMING STICKS AND RAZOR-SHARP SWORDS FLY HIGH AT ARTS FESTIVAL

The careers of some artists at the Utah Arts Festival are really up in the air.

Crowds regularly gather each evening to watch members of the Salt Lake Assembly of the International Jugglers Association keep an assortment of balls and pins whisking over their heads, along with - hold on to your hats - razor-sharp swords and flaming sticks."Your hands take a lot of abuse," said Darin Beutel, a 10-year juggling veteran. Despite the worried gasps of the crowd, Beutel said he and his two partners have never been seriously injured as a result of their high-flying feats.

"It gets a good rise out of the audience," said Bobby "Oliver" Besmehn, the youngest of the trio.

The third member, Shan Ingleby, said he loves to juggle because of the freedom it offers. "Juggling is unlimited. You can forever juggle and not learn all the tricks."

Besmehn said that after five years of juggling, he's nearly reached the coveted "7-ball" stage, a mark of acclaim in the profession. "It's just something that comes from inside," he said. "I guess it's in my blood."

The assembly has about 10 members; those interested in joining can call Ingleby at 972-5009.