Hennessy is no stranger to crafting collaborations and partnerships that line up with its values as the world’s leading provider of cognac, and their latest move continues that tradition of excellence. Les Twins, the internationally-renowned twin dancers from France, joined forces with Maison Hennessy to collaborate on a limited-edition bottle collaboration and CASSIUS spoke exclusively with the pair to learn more about how dance and motion went into the creation of the new wares.
Spirit.Ed‘s D.L. Chandler had the honor of joining Hennessy for an immersive three-day virtual reality experience via the Oculus Quest 2 device, giving CASSIUS a first-hand look at how Laurent and Larry first began their journey in dance. The three-day tour traveled from the streets of Sarcelles, a northern suburb of Paris, and onto the brand’s famed distillery operation in Cognac, France.
The choose-your-own-adventure style of the tour provided us with tailored and effectively charming answers from Laurent and Larry, who both clearly are in sync as siblings while also maintaining their individuality. At one point during the tour, a guided look at some of the methods of how Hennessy cognac is made lifted the veil from the fine spirit and how its “Eau de vie” or fruit brandy is transformed from grape to finished product.
The final day of the virtual experience was perhaps the most fulfilling as Laurent and Larry’s kinetic dancing illustrated why the campaign was giving the tagline “Move Out Loud,” and their moves were captured using innovative imaging technology that made its way to the front of the limited edition Hennessy V.S. bottles that are currently available nationwide.
There are two bottles with the images of the Twins, each bearing their nicknames “Lil Beast” and “Ca Blaze.” Without a doubt, it was such an enriching experience and indicative of what we should expect from the minds of Hennessy and the creative input of Les Twins.
Some are probably well aware of Les Twins’ background considering they’ve been dancers for the likes of Beyoncé, Meghan Trainor, and Missy Elliott among others, and also their fashion collaborations with a number of top brands. CASSIUS spoke briefly with Laurent and Larry, and their charming personalities and joy for creating came through loud and clear.
CASSIUS: It goes without saying that both of you are talented dancers, but what was it about the art form that initially drew you in when you first decided this was your life’s passion?
Les Twins: We actually didn’t have a choice. When we were young, it felt like we were dancing before we took our first steps. What is magical about our family is that nothing could stop our joy for dancing and how it made us happy. We dance when we’re happy. When we’re eating good food, we are dancing.
To want to make a business from it or to make money from it, it never crossed our mind. We were just so passionate about dance and just accepted that we would do this for love and not for money. In the early days, we didn’t dance for money but to learn and experience dance. Our mom would tell us to “respect our name” and accept our gift and blessing as dancers.
C: Given that you two are living inspirations to an entire generation of young dancers the world over, who were some of the dancers that inspired you when you all first began the journey in Sarcelles?
LT: Jackie Chan. Bruce Lee. Jim Carrey. Will Smith. And babies. Mama. Our sister. We don’t compare ourselves to any other dancers because we are always comparing ourselves. But we have always been inspired by people and their lives and their stories.
We always looked at entertainers to see if they’re telling the truth in their art. We want to give the truth [via dance]. And when it comes to babies, babies are not scared to do anything! Whatever we ask a baby, they will do it. It’s what we love about dance is that you don’t think, just like when you play music for a baby and they just begin dancing. They don’t care about the latest dance craze on social media, they just dance.
C: Although you both have done plenty of television appearances early on, most got to know you through your work with Beyonce. How fruitful has that experience been?
LT: We were very lucky because Beyoncé was looking for us for years and when she found us, we never left her side. But to be honest, we were big fans of Jay-Z because we’re from the hood, and “Single Ladies” probably wasn’t the song for us then. But, we got the call and began working with her and we’ve never seen anyone work so hard. And now, we can say Beyoncé is the best. The way that we work so hard and never sleep, that’s Beyoncé too.
C: How was it winning the World of Dance? What did you take most from that moment?
LT: That moment was not a surprise. It was tough, yes. But we didn’t go there to lose. We know the American judges liked a certain style but we came with our own style. Our time on stage together was not about choreography. We were hardly together. But we were in sync on that stage, and the feelings that we shared and how the music moved us. At World of Dance, you just had one shot. Everything was live. We didn’t prepare ahead of the show. But you couldn’t tell because we looked pretty good out there.
C: Now that you’re working alongside Hennessy, a brand that began in your home country, how has the creative process been working with Hennessy Very Special and working on the design side? Is this something you’d like to continue in the future?
LT: We believe Hennessy chose us because we were born to create. The collaboration was seamless. We were already doing fashion design and other things, and they knew that the Twins could do the same there. It was logical for us to collaborate with Hennessy and they have a great team of folks at the brand who listened to our ideas about dance and everything else.
The VR filming, all of that was done in one shot as well. We just went with feeling and they trusted our vision. We learned so much about Hennessy from being inside the factory to how we filmed the dance routines. We’re not big drinkers but we definitely missed out a lot by not working with Hennessy sooner but the way they approach cognac and everything they do, it was really very impressive.
To learn more about Hennessy and Les Twins’ collaboration, please click here.