Erell Allier. Photographed by Bruno Hascoet.
“It’s hard to think about,” says Erell Allier of France. “The people we’ve lost.”
Allier, 17, is one-half of the duo crowned at last year’s European National Dance Competition in Luxembourg (with partner Charlotte Gouzier, both from the Sandie Trévien dance school). From the small village of Pays Bigouden in southwest Brittany, Allier was home with friends and family when she first heard the song, “No Goodbyes,” on Spotify.
“When it was playing, we all sort of stopped talking and listened,” says Allier. “It’s sad but also so empowering.
“He [Norman Alexander] makes loss about love. It was that strength in memory I wanted to dance to.”
Last week, Allier released via social media a video of her performing to “No Goodbyes,” which quickly circulated among the dance community and sport organizations, local youth, and young adults in the area. Shot locally by Alan Le Berre, the video opens on Allier dancing among the ruins of the famed old church, Saint-Jacques de Lambour (Pont L’Abbé, Pays Bigouden), and transcends to conclusion at the shore by the water’s edge (Plage de Tronoën).
“When I first heard it [‘No Goodbyes’], I shuddered,” says Allier. “I wanted to recreate all those emotions in this choreography: loss and love, joy and remembrance.”
“Every time I dance, no matter what the music is, I feel through movement,” Allier says. “Because before technique and everything around it, dance conveys a feeling, without using words. And this was a feeling I desperately wanted to express and transmit.”
“No Goodbyes” by Norman Alexander was released on June 19, 2020 by MLife Music Group.