This year, a record number of 45 local children will be on stage when the Knox Concert Series presents the Alabama Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker” holiday ballet. The young dancers, who range in age from 7 to 15, will appear in Act 1 as partygoers as well as soldiers and mouse warriors in the epic battle between the forces of the Nutcracker Price and the evil seven-headed Mouse King. In Act 2, they will play angels, candy cane dancers and polichinelles, the eight children who hide under the massive skirt of the comic character Mother Ginger.

About 60 local girls tried out for parts this year — more than usual, according to Debbi Clonts, co-chairwoman for Knox Concerts along with Betsy Davis. “Alabama Ballet worked with us to give us extra parts,” Clonts said. Those who auditioned must have had at least a year of dance training.

Features Editor Lisa Davis: 256-235-3555.

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