Ah, belly-dancing. Why is it so very compelling? Some American devotees refer to it simply as “Middle Eastern Dance.” In the Arabic language, it is known as raqs sharqi (literally “oriental dance”) or sometimes raqs baladi (“dance of country,” and so “national” or “folk” dance). In Greece and the Balkans, belly dance is called tsiftetelli , or ciftetelli in Turkish. The term “belly dance” is a creation of Orientalism, first used in English in 1899, and translating in French to danse du ventre . Okay, all that came straight from Wikipedia. And, if it is to be believed, there is much dissent on the origins of the dance of the belly. Forget all that and immerse yourself in Bellydance Superstars . It's the creation of Miles Copeland, of I.R.S. Records/Police/Sting fame, consisting of two separate shows, “Babelesque” ( Feb. 9-10) and the brand-new production, “The Art of Bellydance” (Feb. 11-12).

Feb. 9-12, 8 p.m., 2009

LA Weekly