Boston, MA — Prepare to be mesmerized by an evening of unparalleled talent and inspiration as
Boston-based OrigiNation Cultural Arts Center proudly presents its 29th-anniversary celebration,
Twist & Shout! An Evening of Dance, Spoken Word & Music Benefit Performance and Awards
Gala, on Saturday, October 14, 2023.
“After a challenging time dealing with the pandemic over the years, we are thrilled to be back in
person once again, ready to showcase the true essence of performing arts,” says Ms. Shaumba-
Yandje Dibinga, Founding Artistic Director of OrigiNation. “This event represents a joyous
moment for us to gather, celebrate, and express our creativity again.”
The Twist & Shout gala promises an electrifying lineup of dance performances, soul-stirring
spoken word pieces, and captivating musical talent, featuring the Professional Dance Division
who will share their transformative journeys at OrigiNation and how it has shaped their
Adding to the magic of the evening, esteemed community leaders who have made an indelible
impact in our city will be honored. Michael Bobbit, the dedicated Executive Director of the
Massachusetts Cultural Council; Ruthzee Louijeune, the dynamic Boston City Councilor at
Large; and Converse, an organization that continues to leave its positive impact on supporting
youth programs, will be among the celebrated luminaries that evening. Courtney Boston,
WWOC Radio Co-founder, will host the event.
The celebration will begin with a VIP reception at 6:30 p.m., where guests can mingle with the
directors, special guests, dancers, and fellow arts enthusiasts. The event will also feature a silent
auction, offering guests a chance to bid on exclusive items while supporting OrigiNation’s
mission to empower and promote leadership development in youth in underserved
neighborhoods. Proceeds from this event will directly support OrigiNation’s signature programs,
including its Professional Dance Division, Performing Arts Academy, and International and
Domestic Youth Empowerment through the Arts Tour and other productions.
Tickets for the Twist & Shout gala are available at BostonTheatreScene.com including the
exclusive $100 VIP tickets that grant access to the reception, silent auction, delectable light
appetizers, and a memorable meet & greet with the extraordinary artists and honorees.
Founded in 1994 by Artistic Director Shaumba-Yandje Dibinga, OrigiNation, Incorporated is a
501(c)(3) non-profit organization that produces innovative and dynamic performing arts
programs that motivate, challenge, and inspire youth to be the best they can be. The organization
offers quality dance, theater arts, and African history education, mainly teaching young people
between the ages of 2 and 18 the importance of self-respect, health, nutrition, education, self-
esteem, and the extent of African influences on various contemporary art forms.
OrigiNation serves close to 150 young people each year through on-site programs and an
additional 1,500 youth through off-site programs. The organization provides youth of all levels
training in multiple dance forms, public speaking, and martial arts while implementing special
initiatives to raise students’ awareness about pertinent social issues and facilitate their
development into well-rounded, productive citizens within their families and communities. While
the programs are open to all youth, the focus is on providing services to young people from
Boston’s underserved neighborhoods, which include Dorchester, Roxbury, and Mattapan.