top of page

FUTILE/GESTURE - Yolanda-Tianyi Shao 韶天怡 & Aaron Holmes

Two dancers entangled—conversation to conflict to dissolution. / A hand-drawn animated film for which all the frames were drawn simultaneously by 100 people over the course of a 30-minute performance.

A MFA thesis project created within CalArts, Californian Institute of the Arts, wich offers a variety of unique and engaged programs where art meet activism.



Aaron Holmes
Yolanda-Tianyi Shao

Yolanda-Tianyi Shao

Noah am Ende
Ryan Nebreja

Drew Sensue-Weinstein
Kanoa Ichiyanagi

Yuwei Hu

Holden King
Rachel Lambright
Ruohan Li
Nina Ma

Kat Parker
Aaron Holmes

Lily Windsor
Jack Nop
Jesse Korson
Isaiah Ferguson
Drew Bacon
Pax Nelson

Aaron Holmes
Pax Nelson 

See film for complete credits, including the names of everyone who contributed drawings. 

Création Octobre, 2022




Yolanda Tianyi-Shao (韶天怡) is a choreographer who seeks unexpected collaborations, particularly with animators, filmmakers, and experimental sound artists. After a decade of training in Chinese classical dance, Shao began to lose interest in the rigid pursuit of specific movements deemed beautiful or correct. Her current work as a choreographer deals with the extremes of human communication, touching on desire, satisfaction, and emptiness. Her choreography strikes a balance between established patterns and improvisation, making onstage, movement-based dialogue—and trust—essential components of each performance.


Aaron Holmes is an animator and playwright based in Los Angeles. In animation, theater, and in playful combinations of the two disciplines, Aaron strives for the experiential, the spectacular, and that which foregrounds its own artifice in order to, perhaps, overcome it and achieve human connection. His replacement animation practice relies heavily on “readymade” animations—sequences in which individual frames represent unique found objects gathered from the world. The resulting photos depict things as they exist, as opposed to photos of things that have been manifested or manipulated by the hands. In this way, Holmes undermines his own claims to authorship by accepting unplanned elements in nearly every frame. Experientially, his work confronts with velocity, challenges viewers to search for a signal in the noise, and generates alternating states of anxiety and transcendence.


Ancre 1
bottom of page