Birmingham's dance and culinary talents join forces as school's Centenary celebrations draw to a close

Birmingham dance and culinary talents will unite for a fundraising event on Tuesday 11th July 2023 as Elmhurst Ballet School presents its Centenary Summer Ball, and Birmingham-born Michelin star chef Glynn Purnell curates the evening’s menu.  

Elmhurst Ballet School is based in Edgbaston, Birmingham and enjoys close links with Birmingham Royal Ballet. Elmhurst trains talented young students aged 11 - 19 to become professional dancers. Founded in 1923, the school continues to celebrate its 100th birthday during the current academic year.  

Glynn Purnell, often called ‘Yummy Brummie’, received Birmingham’s first Michelin star in 2005. Glynn has taken part in Great British Menu, winning twice and appearing in later series as a mentor. He is regularly seen on Saturday Kitchen as a host and guest chef.  

For the Ball, award-winning event caterers Amadeus – also a Birmingham based organisation – will work with Glynn to bring his gastronomic vision to the table. Amadeus caters for more than 10 million people across its venue portfolio annually. Part of the NEC Group, it has a rich history in the events sector, delivering sustainable and high-quality dishes for guests at much-loved landmarks including the NEC, ICC and Birmingham’s two arenas. 

Image for Birmingham's dance and culinary talents join forces as school's Centenary celebrations draw to a close
Glynn Purnell - Lucy Rebecca Photography

The 11th July Ball will take place during Elmhurst’s popular run of summer shows, this year titled Century. The annual end of year performances, spotlight the dance talents of students who train full-time at the school. Century and the Summer Ball will draw Elmhurst’s year-long Centenary celebrations to a close.  

About collaborating with Elmhurst and curating the Centenary Summer Ball menu, Glynn Purnell, said: “It is an absolute pleasure to design a menu that suitably celebrates Elmhurst Ballet School, a brilliant training facility which Birmingham welcomed with open arms when it made the move to our fantastic city in 2004. I’m so pleased to be able to contribute to celebrating 100 years of Elmhurst and seize the opportunity to bring theatricality and elegance to the dinner table at this special event.” 

Jessica Ward, Principal of Elmhurst Ballet School, added: Elmhurst has had an incredible year commemorating its Centenary, from a Royal visit to alumni reconnecting and inspiring current students. To conclude the celebrations with Glynn Purnell curating the menu for our Summer Ball is a real coup for the school and is the perfect way to take Elmhurst into its next 100 years.”  

Before the Summer Ball’s two-course dinner curated by Glynn, and for the Century shows, Elmhurst students will perform a range of dance in the school’s studio theatre, including excerpts from Birthday Offering by Fredrick Ashton; Journey, a new ballet creation for the entire Lower School by Northern Ballet Soloist, Gavin McCaig; Juncture, a new contemporary piece by dance artist and filmmaker Charlotte Edmonds; and the whole school in the Grand Défilé, literally translated as the Big Parade.  

Elmhurst Ballet School students in Century. Magda Hoffman Photography