Anna and David, each about 40 feet tall, dance freely in their brightly colored clothes in front of a 12-story Rosslyn office building. The outstretched fingertips of a Redskin player block a Dallas kicker's punt in the courtyard of a Beltsville office park. And in Old Town Alexandria, marble eyes that look as if they came from Roman ruins stare at people entering the TransPotomac Canal Center project.

Throughout the Washington area, developers are adding massive sculptures to their office landscapes, often bringing a touch of grace, whimsy or playfulness to the workaday world.

It seems to be the latest salvo in the battling among developers seeking to make their structures stand out from the buildings of their competition.

But do the sculptures help convince a potential tenant to lease at a particular officebuilding?

Many developers and builders said their tenants have not moved in solely because of a sculpture, but that the artwork has proved to be an attraction. They said the art is only one of the criteria, along with location, costs and accessibility, that tenants use to choose offices.

"It's a way people can remember your project," said Mark Dishaw, a general partner in Rouse & Associates Prince George's office. "And sometimes that's half the battle in this area because it's so competitive."

The artwork at commercial projects throughout the area is usually an afterthought for most developers, who may have several thousand dollars left over in their budget and decide they want to do something different with their buildings.

In most cases, developers hire an art consultant, then meet with the architect and other key people in the project's planning process to decide what kind of artwork will work best.

"If the artwork is used well," said Elizabeth Michaels, an art consultant who has worked with many area developers, "it can highlight the architecture and bring a humanizing element to the building."

Michaels and other consultants, who said the art ranges in price from $5,000 to $100,000, do everything from finding artists from around the world to making sure the work is delivered in one piece and set up as designed.

"A lot of times it's a matter of narrowing it down to the tastes of the developers," she said.

At the Ammendale Technology Park, Dishaw of Rouse & Associates said the company wanted to add something special to an area with an image of being strictly a place for industrial parks.

Through its art consultant, Nancy Martin, the company found a Baltimore artist, Lisa Kaslow, who met with Dishaw to discuss ideas on what kind of sculpture would work best at the 150-acre project. Since Dishaw and several of the company's partners are sports fans, they devised the theme of a sports sculpture garden.

About 70 percent of the project's 500,000 square feet of space is leased.

"The sports theme was really appropriate for the milieu," Kaslow said.

"We wanted it to have a regional identification with the sports teams. People get excited about the home team."

The garden sculptures -- there will be 17 when all are finished sometime next year -- already include "The Blitz," which plays offthe intense rivalry between the Redskins and Dallas Cowboys.

There's also a Bullets basketball player, and a Philadelphia Flyer and Washington Capitals hockey player facing off, University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University lacrosse players and even a mother with her child who is flying a kite.

Each structure is 1 1/2 times life size and made primarily of plate steel and bent piping, which creates the image of a computer-generated figure in sculpture form. "We used hot colors and team logos," Kaslow said. "Each has a personality of its own."

In Rosslyn, Kaempfer Co. erected its 297,000-square-foot office building and decided it wanted to do something with its huge plaza in front of the building.

The company's president, J.W. Kaempfer Jr., was attracted to a painting in a New York art gallery by Miriam Schapiro, who was eventually commissioned to create the "Anna and David" sculpture, a 31-foot-wide, 11,000-pound aluminum depiction of dancing children.

"The building is pulled back off the street to create a greater sense of open space, unlike many of the other buildings in Rosslyn," said Rob Palley, a project manager for 1525 Wilson Blvd., which is 50 percent leased.

"The {artwork} certainly makes a difference. Everyone gets excited about art. People spend most of their day at the office and the art brings color, life and spirit to the work place," Palley said.

Radnor/Buchanan Co. found itself in the similar situation as Kaempfer Co. Radnor/Buchanan had space in front of its building that it did not want to leave vacant.

The company reviewed slides of works by seven artists from throughout the country and chose Dennis Jones, an Arizona artist who designed a 14-foot tall, 2,700-pound stainless steel abstract sculpture that now stands in front of Ballston One, at 4601 N. Fairfax Dr. in Arlington.

"People have really noticed it," said Peggy Dubynin, a project manager for Radnor/Buchanan. "The lines are very clear, and it is very soothing to the eye, very much like the building itself. The two really work together."

Julien Redele, president of the Savage/Fogarty Cos. Inc., and Annaeus Brouwer, the company's chairman, wanted to take advantage of their 10-acre riverfront setting and garden in Old Town Alexandria, and included artists in the early planning stages of the TransPotomac Canal development.

The development firm commissioned two French artists, Anne and Patrick Poirier, and landscape architect M. Paul Friedberg, to design a sculpture that included archaeological and mythological themes. When they completed "Promenade Classique" in October 1986, its features included marble fragments of eyes and mouths, a 30-foot high bronze arrow thrust into a fountain and an obelisk like the Washington Monument.

"They {Redele and Brouwer} felt there shouldn't be a discreet piece of art," said Jeff Riddell, Savage/Fogarty's vice president.

"They wanted to take a more garden-type approach. It really reflects the vision of the principals of the company by having a European perspective," Riddell said.

But no matter how developers may want to use some open space and money left over in the budget, artists and other industry officials agree that just because there is an open space doesn't mean there should be a piece of art. "You just can't provide any piece of art," said Radnor/Buchanan's Dubynin. "It has to fit."