In a first of its kind collaboration, Hennessy’s 11th Hennessy Very Special Les Twins Limited Edition expresses the pulse of street culture through a dual design by global freestyle dance superstars Les Twins.
Maison Hennessy recently unveiled the Very Special 2021 dual limited edition in collaboration with Laurent and Larry Bourgeois, the urban movement creators known as “Les Twins”.
Far more than a classic collaboration, this Hennessy Very Special partnership marks a brand-new horizon and a groundbreaking meeting of minds.
Cultural icons in their own right, Hennessy and Les Twins created a multi-media collaboration around the tagline “Move Out Loud”. This celebrates French heritage and the pioneering spirit for the 11th Limited Edition. A first for the series, this movement creates an exceptional, inclusive platform for artistic expression through live dance, video, and music.
Khomotso Ledwaba, Marketing Manager for Hennessy SA, says: “The collaboration is an exciting evolution of our previous artistic projects for Hennessy Very Special, this time combining urban territories of dance and music – shining a light on urban culture while championing pioneers who are continually pushing the boundaries of their potential.”
“Locally, South Africa has an extensive dance and music culture, and therefore Hennessy is confident that this collaboration will resonate with South Africans on a whole new level. South Africa is a fertile ground for vibrant, dynamic new moves, from the pantsula dance popularised in the 80s to recent forms such as bhenga, danced to the raw, electronic beats of gqom, or the house style of amapiano.”
Les Twins represent the very essence of the Hennessy Very Special mantra ‘Never Stop Never Settle’. Their entire life has been about movement. It is obviously expressed physically through dance. It is also expressed through personal advancement and a life philosophy that keeps them striving for more.”
These identical twins were born and raised in the projects in Sarcelles, outside Paris. Self-taught talents, they made a splash by dancing on the Champs-Elysées to earn pocket money while still in their teens. Drawing inspiration from what was in the air and on the airwaves, they picked up classical moves. They incorporated these into their improv repertoire, and they lit up dance floors around the French capital. Soon, their renown as creators of urban movement spread well beyond the Parisian underground. In 2008 they shot to fame as finalists on the TV show Incroyable Talent, the French version of “Got Talent”.
Les Twins’ flair for dance, choreography, acting and producing has garnered international recognition. However, Les Twins continue to hone their art as they always have — together. They blend street culture and intuition, inventing new moves with every dance.
The blending of tradition and dance
“Working with Hennessy is like going onstage with new energy. Hennessy’s not afraid to mix things up. We’re expressing that knowledge through movement. Our experience with Hennessy Very Special has changed how we dance,” the performers note.
In the vineyards, distilleries, and Founder’s Cellar in Cognac, Les Twins found inspiration in not just one aspect but the entire art of making Hennessy Very Special, from earth and vine to barrel and glass. Of course, their initiation to a craft spanning centuries served as a creative trigger. This led to a dance interpretation of the six principal stages of cognac-making and the wonder they experienced at Hennessy.
Surprisingly, the art of making Hennessy Very Special reveals many unexpected parallels with the world of dance. Exceptional cognac comes from blending many unique eaux-de-vie. Similarly, freestyle performing requires the harmonious orchestration of singular movements, a unique assemblage based on skill and instinct.
Both arts certainly demand patience, precise gestures, perfect timing, boundless energy — and a spark of genius. In the same spirit, cognac-making and freestyle dance both far surpass their original discipline. French creativity resonates with global street culture. Above all, the resulting creations stir emotion. And convey Les Twins’ impressions of the deep-rooted, multi-faceted world of Hennessy Very Special.
A history-making dual limited edition
The collaboration between Hennessy Very Special and Les Twins is a story of many firsts. As an artistic interpretation, it stands as the most expansive to date. It also touches on all the key steps of cognac-making through multiple mediums.
Using motion capture technology, Maison Hennessy preserved the exhilarating energy of Les Twins’ live performance and transposed those digital images into an original limited-edition concept.
For the first time ever, a single limited edition of Hennessy Very Special is represented by two complementary graphic designs. Each bottle features a likeness of either Laurent or Larry, rendered as captured digitally, with all their signature energy and a QR code that opens up the many facets of this movement experience to all.
At home in France, Les Twins’ remarkable ascent has obviously made them household names.
In order to introduce them to a broader, international audience, a mixologist friend of Hennessy, Clément Faure, translated each one’s personality through Hennessy Very Special, accentuated with special ingredients. Of course, he worked side by side with Les Twins, drawing inspiration from their incredible energy and the many facets of their groundbreaking “Move Out Loud” collaboration.
“Larry and Laurent are identical and unique onstage, but they’re very different in life. It’s those nuances that I wanted to interpret in cocktails that reflect their individual character.”
Meet LIL BEAST COCKTAIL (Laurent) and the CA BLAZE COCKTAIL (Larry).
Lil Beast Cocktail
The more reserved “Lil Beast” cocktail by Laurent combines both power and softness in flavours evoking his suave, flowing style. The warm, torrefied aromas of Hennessy Very Special are complemented by gourmet notes of almond and nutmeg recalling French pastries, counterbalanced by the acidic tang of lemon juice.
1.5 oz Hennessy Very Special Les Twins (50ml)
0.4 oz Almond syrup (10ml)
0.7 oz Lemon juice (20ml)
½ Egg white
- Pour all liquids into a shaker and add egg white. Shake vigorously to emulsify (without ice).
- Grate nutmeg into the shaker in two or three swift, smooth strokes. Give the mixture one last shake with fresh ice.
- Strain into a coupe glass.
- Garnish with grated nutmeg.
Ca Blaze Cocktail
The vibrant, punchy “Ca Blaze” cocktail nods to the speed and precision of the artist’s legwork. A fizzy cocktail with floral, spicy accents, it certainly showcases the full-bodied flavour of Hennessy Very Special, offset by notes of vanilla and elderflower, which has litchi-like tinge. For Larry, those aromas resonated with childhood memories. Topped with ginger beer, the cocktail has both kick and fizz, while lime juice contrasts sweetness with a bright, fresh finish.
1 oz Hennessy Very Special Les Twins (30ml)
½ oz Vanilla syrup (15ml)
0.4 oz Elderflower liqueur (12ml)
0.8 oz Lime juice (25ml)
1.3 oz Ginger beer (40ml)
- In a shaker, combine all liquids except ginger beer and shake it.
- Fill a glass with ice cubes and strain into a tumbler.
- Top with ginger beer.
- Garnish with a lime wedge.
The Hennessy Very Special in Motion by Les Twins will is currently available in Makro and Pick ‘n Pay stores nationwide.