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‘Alice’ Comes to Madeira

Haddad Studio of Classical Ballet presents ‘Alice In Wonderland’ on May 11.

“The girls gain an opportunity to enjoy performing and dance before an audience of people,” said Margaret Haddad. “This time the show is ‘Alice In Wonderland’.” Since 1962 Margaret A. Haddad has taught the Nicholai Legat method of Russian Classical Ballet across the globe in locations including England, Lebanon, Kenya. In 1987, Haddad opened her studio in Great Falls. There, talented young people learn the Legat Syllabus, emphasizing grace, unison and discipline.

Haddad was one of the first English students accepted to the Legat School of Russian Ballet which was developed by Nadine Nicolaeva and Nicolai Legat. Located in Scotland, the Russian Ballet Society is committed to preserving and maintaining the Classical Russian Ballet style and the Legat System via teaching and examination qualification exams.

As an adult, Haddad moved frequently and was grateful her ballet education at the Legat School enabled her to have a career as a ballet instructor. “When I left Nairobi, I had 500 students,” said Haddad. “I carry on doing what I was taught to do… the girls have to have a love of ballet in order to participate.” Haddad runs a school that emphasizes good character traits, as well as ballet skills.

In addition to studio practice, the Haddad studio has two big shows, a winter performance of “The Nutcracker,” and a spring show. Previous spring shows covered the Snow Queen, Bambi, and Sleeping Beauty. “We follow the story completely,” said Haddad. The ballet begins with Alice played by Claire Banducci falling through the rabbit hole. In the second act, Alice goes to the tea party and meets the Queen of Hearts (Justine Verheul) and the Duchess (Sarah Parks).

The spring ballet show is set for Saturday, May 11 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and will be held at the Madeira School at 8328 Georgetown Pike McLean. The shows have a cast of 65 persons, with some students having up to three or four characters. “I am just excited to be on stage again,” said Justine Verheul, who has been taking the teacher training program at the studio.

Rita Parks, a resident of McLean organized and prepared the costumes for this show. “My daughter has been dancing since she was four and I have been helping with costumes for nine years,” said Parks. “This is the second time my daughter has preformed in ‘Alice’, so it is exciting to see her in a bigger role.” This will also be her daughter’s final performance with the studio. “We want to have the same impact on others as Mrs. Haddad,” said Sarah Parks.

For more information about Haddad studio, visit www.haddadballet.com or call 703-759-3366.