There was a brief family tradition (i.e. we might have done this two years in a row), where we'd go see the Nutcracker at a local performing arts school. I remember my dad only going once. Before we went, he asked something about there being words. My mom told him that it was a ballet and there were no words, just dancing to music.
Ballet is all about nuanced suggestion through dance synchronized with music.
Why does ballet work? I mean I've never real 'got it', but there's sufficient expressive capability in what ballet entails to tell a story. But why not just have words?
That's a good question, until you realize we're all in a ballet, right now.