ALVIN AILEY DRAWS OBAMAS TO KENNEDY CENTER

02.09.09
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Washington Post, Associate Press, Reuters

Washington Post
Washington Life
Alvin Ailey Draws Obamas to Kennedy Center

It's Friday, and that means one thing around the Obama White House: date night.

Tonight, for the first time, President Obama is taking Michelle to sit in the president's box at the Kennedy Center, a White House aide said.

They will see the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater performance, which just arrived in town (and is, tonight, sold out). They are taking along some friends (no word yet who) for the show at the Center's Opera House, a celebration of the dance company's 50th anniversary.

Associated Press
Obama and family enjoy a night out

WASHINGTON -- While senators worked into the night on an economic stimulus plan, President Barack Obama could sit back and relax - if only for a couple of hours - to observe a popular dance theater group at the Kennedy Center.

The president and his wife, Michelle, took daughters Malia and Sasha to see the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performance on Friday night at the Kennedy Center.

Though it was announced earlier in the day the president would attend, the Obamas picked the right moment to reward themselves with the show. They left around a flurry of news that lawmakers had reached a deal on a stimulus measure at the heart of the president's plan for reviving the economy.

The first family got a warm welcome. As they entered their box seats - designated with the presidential seal - the crowd gave them a standing ovation amid cheers and snapshots. Some in the balcony above the Obamas reached down, apparently hoping the president would touch their hand.

The Obamas were accompanied by Attorney General Eric Holder and his wife, Sharon Malone, and Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty and his wife, Michelle.

Soon after the Obamas arrived, the red curtains went up and the Obamas stayed for around two hours to watch the show. The New York-based modern dance company performed along to a blend of jazz, blues and the violin.

REUTERS
Obama takes a break at Kennedy Center show

After a tough week of haggling over an economic stimulus package and cabinet nominee dramas, President Barack Obama took some time to unwind on Friday night and stepped out for a dance show with his family.

Obama, first lady Michelle and daughters Sasha and Malia attended a 50th anniversary celebration performance by the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington.

The audience at the sold out show greeted the Obamas with raucous applause as the first family waved from a red VIP box decorated with the presidential seal.

The Ailey company is a celebrated predominantly African-American modern dance troop founded in 1958.

The group has performed for estimated 21 million people in 71 countries.

After their date night on Friday, the Obamas will go to Camp David on Saturday for their first visit to the presidential retreat outside Washington.