After studying piano and composition at the universities of Melbourne and Adelaide, Nigel embarked on a career as a dancer and theatre artist. He was the first Australian actor to work with the Suzuki Company of Toga (Japan, 1984-85) and also worked with butoh artists Min Tanaka and Kazuo Ohno in Tokyo.
Over forty years, he has created more than seventy seminal full length theatre, dance and music works with companies including The Sydney Front, The One Extra Company, Sydney Theatre Company, Entr’acte, Terrapin Puppet Theatre, Sidetrack Performance Group, Legs on the Wall, Ihos Contemporary Opera, theAustralian Dance Theatre, Stalker, Calculated Risks Opera Productions, the Song Company, Splinters Theatre of Spectacle, Urban Theatre Projects, Stopera and his own company The Opera Project, and for venues including Performance Space (NSW), the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (WA), Salamanca Arts Centre (Tas), the Royal Court Theatre (UK) and Centre Nationale de la Danse (France). His work has featured in major festivals nationally and internationally.
He served on the Dance Board of the Australia Council from 1993-96, and was awarded the 1997 Rex Cramphorn Theatre Scholarship by the NSW Ministry for the Arts and a senior artist’s Fellowship by the Theatre Board of the Australia Council (2004-05). Since 2011 he has been an artist-in-residence at Arthur Boyd’s Bundanon Estate.
Awarded a Doctorate in Creative Arts by the University of Wollongong (2015), he continues to work as a freelance director, performer and mentor.