One guesses of course that Dalida played her greatest hits, including those that hit the charts in France in 1965:
"Viva la papa" (#10)
"La danse de Zorba" (#8)
"Bonsoir mon amour" (#5)
And my favorite from that year, "Amore scusami" (#13)
I find it quite amazing that Dalida was welcomed to Algeria in 1965, given that according to wikipedia, and other sources, Dalida had performed for the French colonial troops in Algiers in summer 1958. It's rather amazing how forgiving the Algerians were, given that hundreds of thousands of Algerians (the figure is not agreed upon, but perhaps Horne's number, 700,000, is a plausible number) were killed in the war of liberation (1954-62). Here's a photo of Dalida with one of the colonial soldiers, snapped by a fan.
In thinking about Dalida in Algeria, I came across an article by Barbara Lebrun, "Daughter of the Mediterranean, docile European: Dalida in the 1950s" (Journal of European Popular Culture 4(1), 2013). It argues that the Egyptian-born singer's Mediterranean identity was carefully crafted, as her career was launched in France in 1956, to occlude her origins: "Because Dalida’s early success in France coincided with the Algerian War, the singer’s oriental provenance was strictly ignored, and her ‘Mediterranean’ identity instead remapped onto the northern shores of the Mediterranean Sea." (Note: I've only read the abstract, and am waiting to receive the full article.)
Apparently by 1965 her handlers thought it was okay for her to be seen as associated with Algeria. But note that she did not record in Arabic until 1977, with "Salma ya salama."
What really excited me about this concert was the fact that she was on the bill with Mohieddine Bentir. I've blogged about him previously, but let me both recap and add some more details. Born in 1930, Bentir recorded a terrific rock'n'roll song, "Scooter," apparently in 1955.
In 1959, there was "Ana Bouhali," a cha-cha cha, done Cuban style, very, very hot. Check this out, from Algerian television, broadcast during the colonial era. (Added November 4: It's a remake, in Arabic, of a song recorded that same year by Dario Moreno, "Le marchand de bonheur," the Turkish singer who made his career in France during the fifties and sixties.
Later, he was doing twists, most famously, "Optimiste Twist," from 1964. I mention some other tracks on my earlier blog.
If you check these three tracks, you could get an idea about what a terrific performer Bentir was, and, wow, I just can't imagine (again) how cool it would have been to see him opening for Dalida in Algeria.
If your Algerian Arabic is good (and mine is minimal), check out this report on Bentir from Algerian television, broadcast in 1994. I wish I could track down more.
Addendum (11/3/18): Kareem tweeted this at me: Bentir talks about his show with Dalida in the video (at 15:00). When they went to dinner she asked him to ask if there were fava beans. A real Egyptian I guess :-).