Melbourne’s biggest dance battle returns to the Bowl on 10-year anniversary

by the partae
Photo credit: Tiffany Garvie
City Sessions
Sidney Myer Music Bowl – 22 January & 5 February
Melbourne’s iconic and longest running freestyle dance battle showcase City Sessions returns for a second year to Live at the Bowl on Saturday 5 February as it celebrates 10 incredible years of street/social dance.
“Coming towards its 10-year milestone, City Sessions has been the longstanding connector for many different forms within street/social dance in Naarm. It has provided space for expression and visibility for the 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 it serves,” says City Sessions Founder Efren Pamilacan.

The raw talent seen over the past 10 years is nothing short of inspiring as competitors exhibit their skills, style and finesse. Melbourne based dancer Nonoy was just 9-years-old when he first entered City Sessions and competed. Starting dance only the year before, it was clear he had found his creative outlet.
“City Sessions has been a representation of my dance timeline. I started dancing at the age of eight and I first entered the competition when I was nine. I got through some rounds but then I entered again when I was 12-years-old and ended up winning one of the divisions.”

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

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

City Sessions 2022 will take place over two dates. The Prelims free event will take place on Arts Centre Melbourne’s Forecourt on Saturday 22 January where punters can get up close as some of Australia’s best dancers battle it out 2vs2 to the music genres of Hip Hop, House and Funk.

In these preliminaries, dancers will be judged by industry veterans Daisuke Benson, Demi Sorono and Andy Kuramoto and compete to DJ sets from Antagonize, Mothafunk and Mero. Hip hop artist and rapper Philly will keep the crowds entertained as MC.

The successful dancers from the prelims will then go head-to-head at the City Sessions main event held at Sidney Myer Music Bowl on Saturday 5 February. If the 2021 event is anything to go by, it will be another spectacular evening of dance.

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

Supported by the City of Melbourne and Arts Centre Melbourne, City Sessions is presented by Cypher Culture, a community-focused street/club dance initiative that fosters experiences that create spaces for social, cultural and community dance to be celebrated. 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 recognised as Melbourne’s largest and longest standing exchange of subcultural dance in the public space.

Live at the Bowl is an open-air performance series at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl running from January – April 2022. From home-grown favourites to international acts, audiences can enjoy a stunning program of music, dance, circus, community-led and family-friendly events right in the middle of Melbourne. Created by Arts Centre Melbourne, Live at the Bowl aims to bring joy to audiences and invigorate the creative sector. As we emerge from yet another year of closure, the second series is a significant moment for live performance.

Tickets to City Sessions are on sale now and can be purchased from

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