Northern Soul began in the working-class clubs of the north of England, where an unprecedented dance scene took hold of the 1970s generation. The music wasn’t local; it came from America, but legendary all-night dance marathons like those at the Wigan Casino claimed it as their own. Photographer Elaine Constantine is directing a new movie (to be released this year) aiming to capture the madness, using hundreds of actors and dancers who weren’t even alive at the time.
Archive footage from Wigan Casino demonstrates the exuberance of the movement, one that would last only a few short years. One young man, when asked by an interviewer how he would feel if the scene were shut down, neatly sums up the effect Constantine’s film hopes to capture: ‘Instant nostalgia.’