10th anniversary of Melbourne’s biggest dance battle returns to the Bowl

City Sessions, Melbourne’s iconic and longest running freestyle battle dance showcase, returns for a second year to Live at the Bowl on Saturday February 5 as it celebrates 10 incredible years of street/social dancing.

Efren Pamilacan, founder of City Sessions:

Approaching its 10 year anniversary, City Sessions has long been the connector for many different forms of street/social dancing in Naarm. It has provided a space for expression and visibility for those underrepresented in dance, and it fills me with joy to know that City Sessions continues to provide a platform for the next generation of artists in the communities that she serves.

The raw talent seen over the past 10 years is nothing short of inspiring as competitors show off their skill, style and finesse. Melbourne-based dancer Nonoy was just 9 years old when he first entered City Sessions and competed. Having started dancing only the previous year, it was clear that he had found his creative outlet.

City Sessions was a representation of my dance timeline. I started dancing when I was eight and first competed when I was nine. I did a few rounds, but came back in again when I was 12 and ended up winning one of the splits.

At last year’s event, Nonoy won two divisions in what was a massive learning curve and a stepping stone in his career.

I won the Hip Hop division alongside one of my teachers that I grew up with and placed Top 4 in the House category with one of my best friends. This event taught me a lot about culture and the journey I have with dance.

The City Sessions 2022 will take place over two dates. The free prelims event will take place on the forecourt of the Arts Center Melbourne on Saturday 22nd January, where bettors can get up close and personal as some of Australia’s best dancers go head-to-head 2-on-2 across the musical genres of hip hop, house and funk.

During these preliminaries, the dancers will be judged by industry veterans Daisuke Benson, Demi Sorono and Andy Kuramoto and will compete in DJ sets from Antagonize, Mothafunk and Mero. The Philly hip-hop artist and rapper will entertain crowds as an MC.

The successful dancers from the preliminaries will then face off in the main event of City Sessions to be held at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl on Saturday, February 5. If the 2021 event is any indication, it’s going to be another spectacular dance night.

Australia’s hardest-hitting Hammond organ trio, Cookin’ On 3 Burners and Smilez, will provide the soundtrack while MCs Sid Mathur and Jonathan Homsey will keep the energy at an all-time high. Judges Dechen Gendun and Poeone will crown the 2022 City Sessions champions as they marvel at the talent on stage, right in the thick of the action.

Supported by the City of Melbourne and the Melbourne Center for the Arts, City Sessions is presented by Cypher Culture, a community-driven club/street dance initiative that fosters experiences that create spaces for the celebration of social dance, cultural and community. City Sessions is a series of public activations that create engaging environments to showcase diverse street dance communities through freestyle dance battles. The series is recognized as Melbourne’s largest and longest running subcultural dance exchange in public space.

Live at the Bowl is a series of outdoor performances at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl starting January April 2022. From local favorites to international acts, audiences can enjoy a breathtaking program of music, dance, circus, directed by the community and family. – friendly events in the heart of Melbourne. Created by Arts Center Melbourne, Live at the Bowl aims to bring joy to the public and energize the creative sector. As we emerge from yet another year of closure, the second series is a significant moment for live performance.


Season details

Venue: Melbourne Arts Center
Date: January 22 and February 5, 2022

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