Nicholas Cernovitch studied painting, design and color theory as well as dance, theatre and photography. From 1954 to 1972, he worked in New York City lighting dance for some twenty artists and their companies including Alvin Ailey, Merce Cunningham, José Limón and Paul Taylor. During the same period, he designed lighting for numerous off-Broadway productions. In 1960, he received the New York City Village Voice “Obie” Award.
Since immigrating to Canada in 1973, Nicholas Cernovitch has done lighting designs for the Shaw Festival, the National Arts Center, Le Théâtre du Rideau Vert, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and several other renowned companies. He also designed for the shows of Yvon Deschamps, Gilles Vigneault, Robert Charlebois, and worked for the Martha Graham Dance Company.