The night was billed as the premiere of “Two Othellos,” meaning, presumably, that Saturday’s performances at American Dance Institute in Rockville would also feature two Iagos. But just hours before curtain, choreographer Doug Elkins found himself facing a painful drama: Alexander Dones, the dancer who’d been preparing for the role for a year, tore his calf muscle in rehearsal. Elkins conferred with Adrienne Willis, ADI’s executive director, and they came to a time-honored conclusion:
The show must go on, with or without Iago.
And so it did, and the sold-out crowd saw snapshots of what will someday be an amazing performance. Without Dones, it looked more like a trio of talented dancers having a three-way with a handkerchief, but it was still worth seeing. Elkins, a New York-based choreographer, calls his “Othello” “Mo(or)town Redux.” The punctuation is a bit excessive, but it’s the tale of Shakespeare’s Moor set to Motown.