I didn't see Susan Stroman's "Contact," but as an all-dance work that was presented in a mostly straight theater venue, I wonder if there was a similar disjunction in the reviews.
I don't remember the reviews for "Conact," but I did see it in its original incarnation at the tiny Mitzi Newhouse theatre (less than 300 seats), the transferred version at the Vivian Beaumont theatre (over a thousand seats) and the video recording of the national tour of the piece. I am also very familiar with the venue and dancers that the third of the three acts is based on. By far, it was most effective in the small, Newhouse theatre. The more for-profit the production got and the larger the venues got, the more emotional intimacy and life got sucked out of it.