The Cartier Tank, Chanel’s interlocking logo, vintage Dom Pérignon: each is a symbol of French luxury, a beacon of craftsmanship and savoir faire. But one brand has managed to inject its rich history with a jolt of modernity: Hennessy. For more than 250 years, the iconic French brand has been producing the world’s finest cognac. And as the spirit of choice for artists like Drake and Beyoncé, Hennessy has also become a force in pop culture — 2Pac even wrote a song about it. But a revolutionary new partnership with Laurent and Larry Bourgeois, the urban movement creators known as Les Twins positions Hennessy Very Special in Motion, as its known, as a platform for artistic expression through live dance, video, and music.
“Working with Hennessy is like going onstage with new energy,” say the hip hop dancers, who have performed with Beyoncé and Missy Elliott. “Hennessy’s not afraid to mix things up. We’re expressing that knowledge through movement — and our experience with Hennessy Very Special has changed how we dance.”
Using motion-capture technology, Hennessy preserved the energy of Les Twins’ live per- formance and transposed those digital images into an original limited-edition concept. Now, for the first time, each bottle bears a likeness to either Laurent or Larry, with all their signature energy and a QR code that allows access to an immersive digital experience.
We caught up with Les Twins over Zoom from Paris to chat about the historic partnership, how they broke into dancing, and their most memorable experiences onstage.
How did the collaboration with Hennessy come to be?
Laurent Bourgeois: When you see a brand as high as [Hennessy], you don’t feel like they need anybody. When they came to us and wanted to meet us, [we thought], how far do they think about us in the project? And from the first meeting, they actually went really far. And I was like, what do you want me to do? They put so much love into the [virtual reality experience]. I was like, it looks great! I want to be there!
When did you feel like you made it with break-dancing?
Larry Bourgeois: Les Twins’s style [emerged] when people started to be around us way too much. [Laughs] You know when you’re good and you don’t know it, but you have too many friends, and you know you’re someone or you’re going to become something? It’s amazing to feel that we didn’t have to learn from someone. It feels like we learn more with life, what we put in our art, than learn steps to know how to dance.
What does the campaign slogan Move Out Loud mean to you?
Larry: I really feel like it’s all about how we move, and I think, right now, everything we’re doing with Hennessy is a big movement. It’s history to me, to change the logo and to put my name on it as big as Hennessy’s. And there has to be a slogan to achieve the goal with movements. If it doesn’t literally touch you, it means it didn’t work. I’m a loud person physically, not verbally. I’m really loud; I need the space for dance. We’ve worked so hard for so many years, I just love the fact that we can represent the French flag around the world and connect with people so they can understand who we are. This is loud enough.
You’ve worked with some of the biggest talents in the world, names like Beyoncé and Missy Elliott. What are some of your most memorable experiences onstage?
Laurent: For my part, my favourite moment was meet- ing each of them for the first time, and how excited and shy they were to actually meet us. We were just Les Twins; they were Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Dr. Dre. I was like, why are you so excited to meet me? Of course, I understand where I’m coming from and what I’m doing differently than everybody else, but it’s still this shy person in front of us who is respectful.
What do you hope to share with the world through dance?
Laurent: If you tell someone, go to that corner right there and come back, I’ll give you $10,000 — but if you actually work for me, for two months, non-stop, 24/7, I’ll give you $75,000, which one do you pick? I would say 85 per cent of humans would take the shortcut. Some people though — like us — love to work. This is what I have wanted to show the world since I was a baby: nothing comes [to you] by staying at home and in your comfort zone with mama and making money easily. Otherwise, you would see me on TikTok all day. But I’m not that kind of person. I’m not a social media person; I really love to be with people offline. If it was me, I will have all reporters in front of me, shaking ev- erybody’s hands and talking for hours. We are always so real; we don’t have a filter, we’re very transparent. So, I want the world to feel like that.