"This Dance Documentary Shares Stories of Chechen LGBTQ+ Purge Survivors" - them.

"Dance For Human Rights" - McGill Daily


"A short documentary dance film Waiting for Color was released last week. The film seeks to call attention to the persecution and violence against LGBTQ people in Chechnya. It features real testimony from persecuted individuals set to a choreographed dance." -


dancescreen 2019 - Best Student Film
Cinédanse Ottawa 2019 - Winner Prix Lumière
Moving Body 2019 - Encouragement Award


American Dance Festival Movies by Movers
Flatpack Festival
Moving Images International Videodance Festival
Fringe! Queer Film & Arts Fest, London
ScreenDance Miami
Breaking 8 Festival Internazionale di VideoDanza
Tiny Dance Film Festival - San Francisco
ShortWaves Poznan Poland
Idaho ScreenDance Festival
International Dancefilm Festival Brussels
OUT ON FILM! BAAD! Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance
Columbia University Film Showcase
Dance Film Exchange at Lincoln Center
Topanga Film Festival
Cascadia Dance and Film Fest
Human Rights Film Festival Venice
Stockholm Dansfilmfestival 2018
Atlanta Dance Films Dance for Reel 2018


Direction, Choreography & Performance: Kosta Karakashyan
Production Company: Studio Karakashyan
Cinematography & Editing: Kevin Chiu
Composer & Sound Design: Jude Icarus
Voice Actors: Venya Gushchin & Ksenia Voronkova
Sound Mixing: Andro Mathewson
Photography: Miles Rixon
1st Assistant Director: Antonia Georgieva
Assistant Choreographer: Sadi Mosko
Location Scout: Samantha Gabrielle Frühwirth
Special Thanks: Hani Abaza, Gabri Christa, Mats Ek, Lyosha Gorshkov, Ainsley Katz, Katherine Krem, Frank Spadafora, Colleen Thomas
Released in Collaboration with Single Step Foundation


Kosta Karakashyan is a Bulgarian director, choreographer, writer, and performer investigating how to nurture empathy and tenderness through dance, film, and education. A two-time Bulgarian National Ballroom Champion, Kosta has performed and choreographed on Dancing with the Stars Vietnam and across Bulgaria, New York, Canada, Germany, Norway, Vietnam, and Japan. Under his creative production studio Studio Karakashyan, recent works include the documentary dance film WAITING FOR COLOR about the ongoing LGBTQ+ persecution in Chechnya, and the upcoming film Glance from the Edge shot across 12 landscapes in Bulgaria. He graduated from Columbia University with a BA in Dance and is currently completing a Master's in Human Rights at the Global Campus of Human Rights in Venice, Italy, and is the editor-in-chief of


WAITING FOR COLOR is a documentary dance film revealing the harsh reality of LGBTQ+ persecution in the Chechen region of Russia. The contents of the film were inspired by testimonials of the arrests, torture, and blackmail that gay Chechens were subjected to throughout 2017. Through the accounts of 33 brave individuals who shared their stories, the film explores the themes of paranoia, trauma, and hope.

The film chooses dance as the primary medium in order to evoke three distinct emotions that showcase the intensity that Chechens faced: surveillance, brutality, and hopelessness. The physically-charged, abstract movement is choreographed to enhance the resonance of the spoken testimonies, offering a physical interpretation to the psychological torture that the individuals experienced.

Photos by Miles Rixon