Hello YouTube, My Old Friend: Les Twins

23 Dec
I love dance. I love watching it, I love doing it, I love the expression and creativity that go into it. I’ll watch any kind of dance, truly – there is no kind that isn’t beautiful or interesting in some way. True story: my husband’s mad dance skillz were the tipping point when I decided to date him. Honestly. We were at a club and I wasn’t going to date him because I knew a friend liked him…and then I saw him dancing and it was over for me.

Les Twins are French identical twins who dance hip hop. They come from a family of 18 siblings, many of whom dance as well. Their style is…groundbreaking is what comes to mind. I have never seen anything like them. They dance a style of hip hop called New Style, which to me looks like a mixture of extremely staccato movements combined with an almost oily fluidity. It’s a pretty artistic expression of hip hop, with a lot more musical interpretation that I think is usually present. I first saw them in this revolutionary routine they performed at the World of Dance showcase in 2010; to me, this is the performance that defines them. (It’s also unusual, as they usually seem to be mostly freestylers, performing spontaneous movements instead of a rehearsed and memorized routine like they are here.) It’s a long performance, almost 9 minutes, but the range of styles, the humor, and the creativity are so worth it. The moment when my mind was blown: at 0:58 in the video.

I have a fascination with twins – how much of a connection do they have that regular siblings don’t? Les Twins almost seem to share a brain sometimes. They participate in a lot of “battles,” a popular testing and proving ground for hip hop dancers. Les Twins function as a team, and I swear, sometimes one of them will be freestyling and the other one, standing in the background, will anticipate what the performing one is doing and will do something complimentary or assist in some way. It’s truly amazing to watch. Is it just because they’re twins, and can anticipate what the other will do? Is it from performing together so much, they can guess what the other one will do? I have no idea but it’s incredible. In this battle they seem to be almost psychically linked.

The other unique element of Les Twins is their muscle control. It’s what allows them to maintain their balance while flinging themselves around, it lets them do those sharp, twitchy, tiny movements, and I think it’s what sets them apart from other dancers. Here they are battling a team from the US – in my opinion, the US team was hopelessly outmatched here. Typically, the teams may have practiced some moves, but they don’t know what music will be played, and they don’t know what the other team will do, so there’s a lot more improvisation in these competitions than you’d think. The twin coordination in this video is out of control, but it’s the move at 5:30 that makes my jaw drop. This might be the best representation of them in their element, just destroying everyone else.

I’m not the only one who loves them – Jay-Z recruited them to represent his Rocawear line, Beyonce has used them in concerts and shows, and they’re currently dancing in the Cirque de Soleil Michael Jackson Immortal World Tour. As long as they keep dancing, I’m happy.

2 Responses to “Hello YouTube, My Old Friend: Les Twins”

  1. Rebecca December 23, 2011 at 8:30 am #

    The sheer muscle control is astounding. I’m always amazed by what people can do with their bodies. (And I liked the friendliness in the last competition.)

    • Amanda December 23, 2011 at 8:39 am #

      I know! Watching them, I just can’t believe humans can do that with their bodies. I spent waaaay too long last night sifting through all their clips on YouTube – glad I picked a good one!

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