Over almost a year, working at many different places to create Vodou Vibrations, there was only one single item that we always would bring to the space (apart from my instrument). Even if it often demanded to make them from new materials each time, we always made sure to have large bundles in the workshop. The image of women carrying heavy loads on their shoulders or on their backs is characteristic of everyday life in Vietnam, and are often depicted in films, in literature, in paintings, and on postcards. Marie Fahlin has been in Vietnam several times and she herself took a lot of photos of people carrying heavy loads in the streets: It could be a woman carrying her child; a huge bag of vegetables or goods; a huge bundle of dry branches or leaves (to make fire). The bundle could contain anything, it may represent a burden a Vietnamese woman might have to carry in her life. I was born after the war and into a theatre family, where I was brought up with traditional music and theatre. For me, to be a Vietnamese woman was less associated with the life of a peasant woman carrying goods, or selling vegetables in the street, than with the images of professional actors and musicians, and how they would be presented on stage and in the emerging TV shows on national programs. I did not myself experience the hard labour that characterizes the life of most Vietnamese women, still today. However, when we created Vodou Vibrations, we wished to create an embodied experience of this reality through each performance. I labored with carrying these heavy bundles for many months. I would carry the bundles in different positions, touching them, sensing the roughness of the ropes rubbing my shoulders, the raw fabric touching my back, and feeling the weight as I would move the bundles around the space. Effort and empathy are immediately connected in the theories of Rudolf von Laban who finds an effort to be a fundamental component in our perception of movement, and he claims that “every human movement is indissolubly linked with an effort, which is, indeed, its origin and inner aspect. Effort and its resulting action may be both unconscious and involuntary, but they are always present in any bodily movement; otherwise, they could not be perceived by others, or become effectual in the external surroundings of the moving person” (Laban 1971, p 21). This suggests that empathy does emerge from the perception of effort, which immediately suggests that not only could my performance of carrying these bundles constitute an expression of empathy with the Vietnamese women who struggle for their daily living by carrying such burdens, but also, the audience may also experience these instances similarly.