By Sean Bradford
The European counterpart to Movement festival in Detroit, Movement Torino, was born from a closing party for the 2006 Winter Olympics. Turin may not be as well known as Florence or Venice, but it has long been an important contributor to Italian food and culture. Juni Vitale, who co-runs the Movement Torino festival, wants to also add dance festivals to that list. Movement Torino, now in its 12th year, will feature two main festival days, in addition to parties at various clubs in the city, between October 28th and October 31. Below, Turin native Vitale discusses the one challenge he sees facing dance music, plus the best places to eat in his hometown.
How did you get involved in festivals? I was the marketing director for Kappa (sportswear), and from the beginning music was part of the Kappa vision, together with digital gaming and movies. I became friends with Gigi, my partner in Movement Torino, and he became friends with Derrick May. We decided to launch a new format for the closing party of the 2006 Winter Olympics, and we agreed with Derrick May to call it Movement. We wanted to do something in our hometown, and that’s how we started.
How have you evolved over the last twelve years? The last 12 years were very difficult. There was no (dance) culture, there was no industry. It was a new sound in a new environment. Like any new venture, you always get friction from the system. But I’m glad to be able to employ seven hundred people. And to provide a location to enjoy, and to feel free. I’m also glad we survived. Many companies and many industries didn’t make it, and I’m grateful.
Why does the Movement festival work in Italy? It works because Torino has a very deep music culture.
Why is dance music important? It’s my life. It’s my job, and it’s a passion. I enjoy dancing, I feel free. In general , music is part of our life, it’s an emotion, which gives a better insight to who we are.
How has the festival changed? It has grown in quality in quantity. It’s the only festival with the patronage of the European commission. It conquered the respect of the old culture. In terms of clients, customers come from all across Europe. It’s fully integrated with regional economy.
What challenges do you see facing the dance scene? There’s only one challenge – keeping yourself underground in terms of sound, but moving above ground in terms of industry. It needs to become an industry, and to compete. To be recognized as a positive movement for society, but keeping its underground cool. The mission is to become an industry. There’s a lot of money going up and down, but still there’s no industry.
What other festivals do you enjoy attending? Movement in Detroit. Sonus in Croatia, there’s a huge variety of dj’s. I enjoy the festivals in the Netherlands, they consider music a strong economic piece, to re-inforce the country, which is something Italy is still missing.
Any recommendations on where to eat during Movement Torino?
Mulassano is my Mecca. It is one of many Turin’s historical cafes, widely know for having introduced tramezzini, (small toasted sandwiches) whose name has been given by Italian poet Gabriele D’Annunzio, to recall the squared base of the bar’s space. I go there every weekend at lunch to reconnect with the city baroque spirit and read the daily newspaper while eating those amazing tramezzini. I never leave without a coffee with a marron glacé by the side.
If I want a snack I go to my friend Gigione at Taglio, the best pizza by the pound in town, located in a lovely small square in the ancient Roman area know as “Quadrilatero”. His secret is a mix of ancient Italian flours that ensure a super light dough. Every now and then he proposes unusual combinations of seasonal products that you’ll regret to miss.
When I invite someone from abroad to dinner I love to go somewhere local such as Lo Spaccio Alimentare, a modern “trattoria” that offers regional recipes revisited in a contemporary way. You’ll be surprised how rich Piedmont cuisine is. Spaccio Alimentare is a quiet spot at the centre of Turin’s Movida in the San Salvario district.