A Ballet to Honor a Fallen Hero

Joshua Burnham in Colin: Son, Marine, Hero. Photo Courtesy Manassas Ballet Theatre.


Veterans Day is next Tuesday, but a small ballet company in Northern Virginia is getting an early start this weekend with a very special tribute. Tonight, Manassas Ballet Theatre premieres Colin: Son, Marine, Hero, a full-length ballet that memorializes the life of artistic director Amy Grant Wolfe’s son Colin, who was killed serving in Iraq in 2006.


Colin was a dancer himself, trained by his mother at MBT’s academy. While a ballet dancer may seem an unlikely candidate for the Marine Corps, the events of September 11, 2001, inspired Colin to join the military after high school. But as CBS Sunday Morning reported last weekend, his dance training gave him the discipline, agility and coordination necessary for life as a U.S. Marine. Not long after enlisting he was sent to Iraq, where he was killed—at age 19—by a roadside bomb.

Colin Wolfe. Photo Courtesy Manassas Ballet Theatre.

To prepare for the ballet’s creation, Wolfe interviewed Colin’s commander and fellow Marines. “Colin became alive again,” Wolfe told CBS Sunday Morning’s David Martin, “and therefore, for me, Colin died again. This full-length ballet has been torture.” Joshua Burnham, formerly of San Francisco Ballet and Cincinnati Ballet, plays the role of Colin alongside a cast of 25 other dancers. The ballet, which includes original music by Mark Menza played by a live orchestra, runs through November 9. For ticket information, click here or call (888) 945-2468.

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