Dior Magazine

Dior Magazine

Dior Magazine


Read Article

Read Article

Read Article



Encounters with Wang Ramirez.

Anyone who has ever watched them dance has an indelible memory of the grace that unites them. but beyond grace, it’s an incomparable talent for listening that makes this couple – in life and onstage – never fusional and always singular, a vision of beauty born of freedom.

In their own way, they bring together humour and love, classical dance and hip-hop, theatre and design, physical virtuosity and philosophic thought. They have no barriers, no limits, and have already triumphed at some of the world’s most prestigious institutions. From the Forbidden City, in Beijing, where they staged an unforgettable one-night-only performance, to the Théâtre de la Ville in Paris, where they were named associated artists, the dancer-choreographers Honji Wang and Sébastien Ramirez figure among the rising stars of contemporary creation. Between tours, the founders of Wang & Ramirez – as they have named their company – agreed to journey down memory lane for Dior Magazine and share the spontaneous emotions and sensations inspired by Maison Christian Dior fragrances, which are like so many audacious olfactory ballets by François Demachy.

Marie Audran: As children, did you ever experience an olfactory shock?

Sébastien Ramirez: Lavender, vines, jasmine, the country- side in summer – the scents I grew up with in Perpignan. Everywhere I go on tour, I carry inside me the iodized, mixed smells of the Mediterranean. Those are my references, the source of my memory, the mental landscape that accompanies me in encounters and at dinners wherever I am in the world.

Honji Wang: I grew up in Frankfurt in an apartment that smelled (very strongly!) of my mother’s Korean cuisine, and when I went to my friends’ fancier villas, they smelled clean, pure, and I found that intensity spellbinding.

SR: This plurality of scent is an essential subject in our show Monchichi, which explores how we feel and “sense” differences.

HW: That was our starting point for creating a performance. I wanted to describe the essence of my childhood memories. I am excessively sensitive to invisible, impalpable scents.

MA: Rouge Trafalgar, the latest addition to the Maison Christian Dior collection, translates the essence, the idea of the colour red into a perfume. It reminds me of a passage from the book Couleurs by the sculptor and writer Pierre Bergounioux: “The world is not something external to the mind. It affects us. We are living it. Its colours rub off on our mood, give flavour to a moment. They are constant.” Mightn’t that remark apply to perfumes themselves?

SR: Absolutely! Smell is life, a way of perceiving existence, a personal signature, an accord with energies. Honji always talks about scents at home – it’s an obsession [laughs].

MA: And does the stage have a particular scent?

SR: Of course! Woody, wet concrete, the smell of vast volumes in an empty space: when you rehearse in a theatre, it’s all around you.

MA: Christian Dior was very sensitive to dance; he admired the Russian and Swedish ballets and created costumes for Roland Petit. Is there a link between dance and perfume, beyond the fact that they are art forms?

SR: That’s a subject in its own right! They are two bodily experiences! The main link being the human being.

HW: And both of them have a connection to feeling, to the indescribable, to what you sense without being able to put it into words, a gesture, a unique, intense moment that is being played out right here, right now.

SR: Dance, like perfume, has a singular character. Each smell is unique, just as each dance interpretation is different.

MA:Your difference, your otherness is an essential subject of inspiration: two bodies in perfect harmony, and yet at the same time each completely singular.

SR: This is our supreme objective: though different, being in harmony is a fundamental societal issue. We need the beauty of difference – it’s essential to be loved and to love in this way. HW:Such a connection is possible thanks to listening; a natural entente happens instantly.

MA: You communicate through emotions: which ones arise when you smell Rouge Trafalgar?

HW: A very feminine and flowery sensation, ethereal top notes, melancholic sweetness.

SR: The colour goes superbly with a very fruity scent, an explosion of red fruits, mixed with citrus.

MA: Exactly. It’s strawberry, raspberry and blackcurrant with tangerine! SR: It’s a fragrance that’s rich in complexity, at once glossy and subtle. It surprises. It brings to mind organic, floaty fabrics; it’s also very visual, like delicate shades of pink. Our new performance is ethereal like that, with a light, red veil that comes to life and flutters over the stage.

Christian Dior considered red “the colour of life”.

SR: In my opinion, red has infinite depth – it’s like imagination in action.

MA: In your piece Monchichi, red light poetically sculpts the décor and your bodies alike. What does it symbolize?

SR: Love, passion, all the tautness and beauty of our relationship.

HW: A deeply anchored statement, a strong symbol, a revolutionary flag, a manifesto.

SR: Like this perfume, which is both striking and disturbing. Fruity scents instantly spring to mind, then gradually something infinitely subtle, personal and intimate emanates from it. It’s like a dance in double time!

MA: Speaking of which, dance brings us to theatre... Rose Kabuki, another perfume from the Maison Christian Dior collection, has, like you, strong ties with the performing arts. What does its fragrance trail evoke for you?

HW: It’s a powdery, light floral ballet! Very Zen, minimalist, something of absolute purity.

MA: François Demachy was paying homage to traditional Japanese theatre, Kabuki.

SR: For me, it’s the power of the rose, classic elegance, grandeur filled with meaning.

— Marie Audran