Les Twins x Numéro Netherlands
We had the pleasure to have a chat with international dancing duo, Les Twins. Les Twins have participated in dance battles, toured with the biggest artists on the planet and also acted in a couple of movies. In addition to their involvement in cinema they also started their new clothing line and a new music label full of promising talents. They’re full of variety and we can’t wait to see what the future has in store for them.
1. Growing up, what moved your way into your style of dancing?
Laurent: Well, me and my brother have never really been inspired by anybody who dances. We were more inspired in how people influence others. Like Michael Jackson’s face inspires us a lot. His expression, the way he wanted you to feel every single note and being able to make people feel a kind of way. We weren’t even speaking English, and he made us understand music. It wasn’t even his dancing, cuz you can notice the Michael Jackson in me when I am dancing, you know? Look at every artist, Beyonce, Weeknd , Neyo, Bruno Mars, you see Michael Jackson in them when they’re dancing. But I don’t do Michael Jackson moves. I do MJ’s faces and expressions. The delivery is unbelievable and that’s what touches me the most. People like Jim Carrey, Will Smith, Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee, are my biggest inspirations characteristics wise. They’re legendary, their facial expressions are legendary. We are characters that deliver faces, it’s Les Twins.
2. As dancers, what are the things to always keep in mind when it comes to battles and competitions? How do you prepare prior to competing/ performing?
Laurent: For me personally, I’d rather not talk before competing . I’m really not a friendly person when it comes to dealing with anyone before a battle I’m so in my zone.You know, some people might think that battling and showcasing is a joke and we’re faking it. Nah, I really want to keep all my energy, power and feelings in me to then throw everything up on stage.
Larry: Yeah same thing for me. But sometimes it changes, it depends, when it is not that serious . In the end, that’s what we do though so I agree as well.
3. One of the performances I will never forget about is when you won World Of Dance. Before the finals, one of you got injured (Laurent). How was it like going on stage knowing the consequences and managing to come up with something so creative and outstanding? Did it feel any different from your performances in general?
Laurent: Horrible, terrible, terrifying and stressful. Every disease a human being can have, we felt it before going on stage that day. It was like that throughout the whole week before the performance. Just thirty minutes before going on stage our mom called us and gave us a lot of motivation, especially to Larry ; she said: “ You better give it your all because your brother would rather die on stage than anywhere else. So don’t take it slow and don’t think Laurent is not going to be dancing anymore. He’s going to give everything , he’s going to hurt himself, so you better just go off right now !”. My brother then realized that the injury was not necessarily a handicap. He said : “When you have a handicap, it’s a plus for dancing”. It’s true, when you’re on stage and you know you cannot do something, it will take you to a different zone. You’re more powerful.
While still on the phone with our mom, she started singing the songs we had in mind for the performance. Larry then, literally decided to change the whole show twenty seconds before going on stage! We were so connected. Our mom transmitted so much power to us. After that moment , the pain was over. That’s the reason why Larry changed the whole choreography right before the show. I imagined everything in my head and was so sure about it. That’s when I said to myself “ No mercy” .
4. You guys do many other things, how did you come across working in fashion and designing as well?
Larry :It’s always been a part of our life. I don’t want to sound too French now, but when it comes to food, fashion and sports, our family has always been multi-sportive and multi-fashioned oriented. We have a lot of women in our family so we were dressed up by them all the time. They would say things like “ You’re not going to mix this with that, right?!”. I mean, why not we’d think. We managed to take amazing pictures with some crazy looks .We were really into fashion thanks to these women. We stepped in the front without being scared. That’s what allowed us to meet the beautiful people in the fashion industry and be able to introduce our craziness. I don’t want to sound too disrespectful, but I think fashion is also when you wear things you would never do in real life and you do it and it’s excessive. For example, me and my brother we’d wear pins backwards. People think it’s fashionable, but it’s not. It’s when you’re not scared to wear certain things. It all started as a punishment, ended up as a joke and now it’s part of our lifestyle; because we always remember where we come from. So that’s our attitude with fashion. Our fashion is feeding everything our bodies can match with, so it’s many different styles. That’s why we love to dress up and also design things for others. We love matching people and giving them advice. I don’t know if I would wear what I tell people to though, but we are pretty good at giving suggestions. So yes, fashion has always been in our blood.
5. What are the plans for the future, what do you have coming up in the short term and long term periods?
Laurent: I’d say, musically we are not done. It’s just a start. We have amazing collaborations coming up in August plus fashion shows too. Me and my brother’s goal is to change the perspective of music in every artist. I want to inspire them with the visuals and show them what music is really about. Overall though, is to continue making music, movies and entertain the whole planet. I want people to know more about Les Twins.
6. Talking about the past now, your last debut film in Men in Black (2019), and feature film CATS (2019), in your memory what were the most challenging and fun scenes to shoot ?
Larry:The most challenging thing about those movies is having done them at the same time. Never again!
Laurent: Oh yeah we had no life. It was really #nolife. Six months rehearsals, six months working at the same time for both movies. Not going to lie, it takes a lot of power to learn to become someone else. Me and my brother are perfectionists so we love to be perfect. People would usually take two weeks to shoot a scene in four different angles. We took two days. The directors were shocked! They didn’t know what to do with us, like, what the hell is going on?! I was shocked that people doing movies need two weeks to do that! Both me and my brother felt really connected to the characters. In CATS Larry was killin it, he transformed the whole cast. All of this while finishing Men in Black in a rush. We literally became cats and thanks to him the movie went better and better. The crew trusted us and the choreography, and believe me, I wasn’t there to teach people, I was there to learn. I learned so much and felt love and pressure at the same time.
7. What is freedom to you?
Larry: I don’t think we’re free still. Right now it’s really hard , especially what’s going on now in the world. But to be honest I don’t feel free yet.
Laurent: I would say freedom literally is what we are doing. If you ask me when I feel free, I’ll tell you that it’s when I’m dancing ; I’m losin it. I’m never going to know people’s freedom until I talk to those people, because everybody sees freedom differently and feel free in their own way you know? I really feel free when I’m making music, when I’m helping people and knowing that I can change someone’s mind for the better. I know that when me and my brother are dancing we are changing people’s lives and making them become better people. We are changing them with just our body language. I love when fans come up to me and tell me “ Wow you got me out of this world. When I’m looking at you I feel like I’m in Paris (etc.)”. People grasp the messages, and apply them for inspiration to their life goals. Not only dancers, from restaurant owners to anyone who wants to start or improve something of themselves. I want to make people feel a type of way, and it works. I don’t know who I am when I’m dancing, but I know the spiritual me inside of myself and whatever I throw out there, is going to be good for whoever is going to watch.
8. Having toured and performed with Beyonce and Jay Z, in your recollection of thoughts, what have been some of the best moments?
Laurent : It’s difficult to pick one situation, but honestly every time we were together there was not a moment where the vibe wasn’t hilarious, funny, stressful, high level, everything. I was literally crying sometimes, I learned so much about myself during that experience. One highlight for me though was when Jay-Z met us for the first time. He usually doesn’t have dancers at his show, so in a way, I was trying to become a second Jay-Z and move the way I thought he should move on stage. He totally fell in love with the body language. After that, he loved it so much that we begged him to come the ***gas in Paris tour in 2012. While on stage, he restarts the whole song (****as in Paris – Jay-Z x Kanye West ) and calls us on stage. That was the best moment. To be on stage with him to hype him up. The cameras were shaking all of the stadium. That was so crazy and indescribable!
Larry: For me, I’m still shook about this 10 years with Beyonce and Jay-Z. I have so much respect for legendary people who are still alive like them. What we had with them is way more than a certification, a trophy or more than an award. Since day one both of them showed respect to us more than they did with anyone else .From the Destiny’s Child era, till now, Beyonce has been working with many dancers, and throughout the years she has never mentioned their name during her shows. She always says: “ Make some noise for my female/male dancers!”. But every single night we were with her she’d say: “ Make some noise for my Paris friends, Les Twins !”. That was the most unforgettable thing for me.
9. In your own words, what is dancing for you , what has changed since you both started ?
Laurent: In my point of view, walking is already a dance. People have so many expressions when they’re talking, expressing emotions for example when a person sees a baby, when you talk to your mom, you talk to your woman, when you talk to your best friend and when you talk to yourself. Every single feeling you have in your life , it is a move, when your feelings are talking by themselves, without you having any control. Music is a question , your body is the answer. When you are feeling right into the music and you move a certain way , you need to keep going, and not stop working with your feelings.
The world has made people think that to be dancers to have to look like one, and because of not looking like them they think that they’re not able to be one. You are the best dancer and singer in the shower and when you are hearing music, when you feel a type of way.It is only towards you and not everyone else. It’s about you. The way you move your head, the way you close your eyes, and your feelin it, you suddenly open your eyes and feel ridiculous. Me and my brother keep that baby inside us wherever music is going on. We express ourselves wherever it flows. Our dance is non-diction in a dictionary. We don’t have a base movement. It just goes. We love it ourselves so much that it transcends into dance, and in that moment I have no choice but to accept what I feel about the song.
Editor in chief :Timotej Letonja
Interview : Joiah Luminosa