A thread of Taehyung’s characters & storytelling w/ facial expressions+gestures

It’s common to hear “he’s beautiful” “most handsome” fr. many when talking about Tae’s performances but don’t be fooled that this is what makes him stand out! W/ his expressions, Taehyung transforms+
and switches to a variety of characters to tell the stories of the songs he performs.

Some backstory to this thread! I only realized after finishing the first draft that I accidentally categorised Taehyung’s “characters” loosely into the four temperaments - +
an ancient Greek theory of human behaviour. While this personality typing is factually inaccurate and comes from antiquity, it is still a fascinating, popular reference and trope - it serves purpose on studying theater and Shakespeare too as the playwright himself based his +
characters on these temperaments. If you’re not familiar with these temperaments, do check this out:

I also referenced this magazine for the pull quotes per character temperament: http://totaltheatre.org.uk/archive/features/masks-and-four-temperaments
Lastly. These are just a few primary examples of Taehyung’s performances oh-so-loosely categorised to the “fundamentals” to make some points about his artistry: that he is so well-rounded and versed as a storyteller, be it with language, music, or performance. +
💫 The Choleric says, “This way, follow me!”

A lot of BTS’ lead singles are very energetic and abrasive, the dance also reflects that. A lot of their choreography are always sharp. Aggressive expressions, brash movements are ideal, and Taehyung is a consistent master of this. +
Taehyung asserts his dominance in more ways than one. The man knows how to intimidate even on the sidelines. A judgmental gaze and a spread mouth, teeth bared. We have the idiom “show your teeth”, which basically means “to show power, ability to fight and defend, be aggressive.”
Like in Mic Drop, Fire-Taehyung also bares his munchers a lot, but his cocked eyebrows, widened eyes, lip-biting and mischievous grins towards the audience make him look more like Chaos personified - a trickster - literally about to “ssak da bultaewora bow wow wow” 😂
Taehyung also wears some smug smirks - a lot of them are not for you, me, or anyone, but mostly for himself. He’s his own kingdom. These smiles of his esp. seen in the very individualistic msgs of IDOL & ON make him untouchable - haters, y’all been warned.
It’s crazier when Taehyung starts chewing his fake gum - literally the “IDGA*” vibe and that’s why we are so drawn to him. He makes it look effortless and we can only wish we could be just as unbothered and cool. 💅
💫 The Sanguine says, ‘Wow, look at that!’

I talked about War of Hormone - Taehyung before and how Tae is putting on a young, clumsy, mischievous, and flirtatious character. WoH is a comical stage with a comical choreography + https://twitter.com/taefolio/status/1273282026901127169
- it’s even borderline theatrical, and I’d like to thank Taehyung for that because he really sets the story of this choreo in motion with his improv. Taehyung exaggerates everything here from how he smiles, to how he closes his eyes. Here’s a longer clip of his expressions:
In BWL, Taehyung’s literally a “boy with luv” as he adds flirtations that are seen more as gullible & wholesome, like a smitten boy that’s high w/ the early stages of romance. Shy, cute, & fun expressions, some goofy ad-libs to “impress” the object of his affections, +
unfraid and willing to risk everything thanks to this optimistic character.
The same can be said for the next, but the feelings are already serious right off the bat with DNA. DNA Taehyung, I believe, is the boy next door courting the audience with a promise to keep. +
+ Taehyung’s expressions are mature, sexy but sincere - a cute wink, a very bright smile and a smouldering gaze to hint his deeper fancy.
Taehyung conveys more of his indulgence and submits himself to his senses in Blood, Sweat and Tears. Along with its very seductive choreography, Taehyung levels it up with unwavering, covetous gazes. +
Parted lips - touching them with his fingertips, display of tongue to show craving, knowing smiles underneath the hands to convey sly intent, for the sake of satiating the senses. He doesn’t need to be in the center to grab your attention. That’s sexy Taehyung for you :)
💫 The Melancholic says, ‘No pain, no gain’

Taehyung is amazing at communicating reticence with his face and body. Do you know how difficult it is to create pained-but-controlled expressions without making them look forced or fake? Speaking of fake..
Fake Love has the theme of the marionette - micro-expressions sparingly used & come in small doses but will slip every now & then on appropriate parts of the choreo. This is esp. true when he does the “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" moves as if masking his feelings.
Black Swan’s choreography is inspired by the movie of the same title. There’s more constriction with self-expression, as the Ballerina character strives for unadulterated perfection. Taehyung’s movements here have to be some of the cleanest I’ve seen from anyone - +
little to no extra head tilts, controlled twists and turns so his hair and clothes remain in shape - and this is why he’s the Ballerina/Nina/Swan for me.

Taehyung uses a soft yet cold gaze in Black Swan to hint his vulnerability +
When he goes off the center, Taehyung shows some fleeting stifled expressions and grunted looks that communicate the strain.

There’s a movement he does where he looks like he asphyxiates himself - hand on throat and mouth softly open. There are also parts when +
Taehyung sings “killin’me now”, he smirks-obviously him being very in character of the Swan/Ballerina purposefully suffering for their art & passion.

Taehyung’s eye twitch in BBC can be read as a hint of anxiety, esp. when he asks “what’s my thing, what’s my thing, tell me now”
For Taehyung’s gestures and expressions in Singularity - while on a meta-level these expressions are largely being read as flirty and sensual esp. the fans, they are still very much within the context of the song. Taehyung’s expressions is more than him having a beautiful face. +
Remember that Singularity is an internal monologue of a character torn for his two loves - the self who wears the masks and the self he buried. With the way Taehyung’s “self” cups his own face through the jacket, his hand gestures that encourage his other self to speak, +
it is obvious that Taehyung is speaking to himself, and there’s conflict existing within him as he simultaneously smiles and grunts - this goes on and off a lot when the hand of his “self” touches him.

The sweet smile appears for every time he’s being called by that “self” +
and whenever he tries to call out to the buried self in the chorus; then the smile drops to a hardened face for every time he tries to get away from it, refusing to acknowledge it. Taehyung’s gentle hand movements across his face show that he’s pondering, and he’s very confused.+
At times, he uses both hands to hold his throat and make quick stifled expressions - alluding to the character’s hurting throat. +
This gets even more obvious with the secondary setting of Singularity. As with the opening lyrics, Taehyung wakes up because of a shattering sound, and his eyebrows do the talking: the quick nudges and scrunching show that he is bothered, anxious and confused - +
- and so, he looks around. His eyes say much of this confusion too. His entire body speaks more this time too with hunched shoulders. Some of Taehyung’s gazes in Singularity are also pretty inquisitive and expectant, be his eyes rounded or squinted.
As his solo stage, it is incredible that Taehyung managed to make each performance unique while remaining faithful to the character in Singularity. These are just a few of his expressions and adlibs that prove how he can convey such a complex, uncertain character countless times.
💫 The Phlegmatic says, ‘I like things just the way they are’

The characters in Spring Day - the 7 friends who found, lost, and trying to rediscover Omelas - trouble themselves with the concept of change. The yearning of old friends, hating the changes and wishing things +
to be as they are dominate the piece. A huge reason we anticipate Taehyung in Spring Day is how he builds up the emotions of his character, making the said character so realistic and alive. He doesn’t immediately show his cards. +
Taehyung’s character in Spring Day is the only character that’s a time bomb of emotions. +
Taehyung gives deadpan looks at first. Then gradually comes to his long, piercing gazes - they look passive and calm with the way he doesn’t pull muscle on his eyelids, but they’re piercing, unblinking. The subtext of his building emotions is present.
I mentioned his character being an emotional time bomb because that’s what he exactly does as soon as we reach his parts of the chorus. Taehyung’s face contorts to pained and obviously vulnerable expressions as he wrinkles his brows with a soft, teary-like gaze. +
But the real climax often begins when we start to reach the second chorus all the way up to the end of the bridge. Taehyung looks like he’s about to cry. Maybe he truly was feeling like crying too - a great performer knows how to lose himself to the music and story.
So, we now have a basic, surface level of a grasp on what makes Taehyung a model and textbook for idols, but what is the secret to all of this? Did Taehyung prepare & research about this just as much as I did for this thread to be good at it? +
And can simply copying make one instantly better?

Truthfully, while I think Taehyung does put a lot of thought into his expressions and gestures, a good majority of them seem to stem from his own emotional intelligence (both intrapersonal and interpersonal). +
While empathy is a great ability to have, (which we obviously know he is good at already) being able to understand motivations and different people’s state of mind are important too: Taehyung is the same person who was able to trick his own members in games - +
- by understanding his members’ unique motivations and his believable acting.

So, why is this being mentioned? When searching for the clips on this thread, +
I’m reminded of how Taehyung was able to make each performance unique yet in line with the song’s theme - that this is not only true for Singularity, but for other songs as well, regardless if he has more lines/center time or not.
He just never runs out of ideas. Taehyung has an incredible understanding and natural attunement of the human experience as we witness every expression and gesture from him. +
You can really tell how these expressions and ad-libs from Taehyung aren’t done for the sake of having expressions; he’s really projecting different characters per song and that’s freakishly amazing and respectable. +
He’s doing this all on his own accord. Because it’s just so Taehyung for him to do these things. A born artist and performer, a natural storyteller.

The point of being an artist is to create - beautiful, poignant things - +
- but beauty must also ready exist within them as the process of making art is to bare their heart and soul, and that is the most difficult thing the artist must do. +
The realistic, pragmatic measure of their artistic relevance depends on whether they have an audience who will appreciate them. Appreciation is best shown through support. Supporting and appreciating their work is the utmost respect and recognition we can give them. +
So let’s all show our support and appreciate more, tangibly - to our artist Taehyung. https://twitter.com/taefolio/status/1259176994282987527
With this reminder, on behalf of this account I also like to humbly ask from those who find value and use of our Taefolio account to support our writing, as they also took a lot of time and effort to research and write this and our other threads - our goal, what we want - +
- is for more people to see and know the different sides and aspects of Taehyung that we are discussing. If you’ve reached the very end of this thread, kindly wholly receive my sincerest gratitude, and thank you for taking the time to appreciate our beloved artist. 💜
Portuguese translation of this thread provided by @ktth1mix 💜 https://twitter.com/ktth1mix/status/1324792598947651585
+1 Even without a full choreo in Zero O’Clock, Taehyung is able to express a challenging, more visually subtle temperament that of a phlegmatic with his eyes https://twitter.com/taefolio/status/1327908139534991363
+ mini thread of Taehyung’s possibly phlegmatic-melancholic character in Life Goes On: In the Forest MV https://twitter.com/taefolio/status/1331616954310770688
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