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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.

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