, Salem, MA


December 27, 2012

Firing up Beverly's New Year

Ari Grosvenor plays with fire and, yes, she has been burned.

“Many times,” Grosvenor said.

But as a member of Spiral Glyphics, one of two local fire performance groups that will appear at Beverly’s New Year 2013, she takes her injuries in stride.

“I don’t think we’ve had anyone go to the hospital for their burns,” Grosvenor said. “We keep a burn kit.”

Dozens of performers, including drum circles, magicians and rock bands, will help Beverly count down the New Year.

But there’s a good chance that Spiral Glyphics and Eternal Lotus Fire Collective, with their burning, swirling fire toys, will be among the most visible.

And although Grosvenor is confident, given the precautions her group takes, that no one will get hurt on Monday night, she doesn’t deny the risks in fire performance.

“Fire breathing is one of the most dangerous forms,” Grosvenor said. “One of the best places where most people practice is in the shower, because you want a mist rather than a fine stream.”

As they work on spitting, fire-breathers also address their body English.

“There are methods of how you hold your body so you get out of the way of the fire,” she said. “You practice with non-fuel to get your body motions correct.”

Spiral Glyphics has been together for around three years, with a membership that currently numbers seven, but has included as many as 15 members, Grosvenor said. Most of the members went to high school on the North Shore and are between 20 and 26 years old.

The group appeared at Lynch Park, at Beverly Homecoming in 2011, in a two-hour performance called “Midsummer Night of Fire,” Grosvenor said.

“That was one of my favorite performances,” she said. “We were granted some money from the Cultural Council.”

Grosvenor, who recently graduated from Montserrat College of Art and now works at the school, does not breathe fire.

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